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Dental fillings help treat decayed or damaged teeth. They can also be used to level the surfaces of your teeth allowing you to properly bite. If you experience pain or sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods or liquids, you may have a cavity which should be filled as soon as possible. Once filled, you will no longer experience pain and sensitivity in your tooth structure. If left untreated, however, you may experience even more dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.
About the Procedure
First, your dentist must determine where the damage has been done. Then, preparation of the tooth or teeth for the dental fillings ensues. This involves the removal of the decayed area using traditional drills or a dental laser. The area is then cleansed as your dentist takes out the bacteria in the tooth structure.
If you have chosen a composite—tooth-colored filling—then the damaged tooth must be separated so that the moisture does not disrupt the bonding procedure. Your dentist will use adhesives to bond the composite material to your tooth structure and will then finish off with a bonding light to harden the material.
Dental Filling Materials
In the past, dentists predominantly used metals such as gold and silver for dental filling procedures. Today, you have the choice of receiving composite—tooth-colored—dental fillings for a more aesthetic appeal. Some people still choose traditional dental fillings for personal reasons.
Pros and Cons of Different Dental Filling Materials
To determine what kind of dental filling material is ideal for you and your needs, consider the following:
Tooth-colored composite material ensures a natural and attractive finish which has an advantage over traditional metal dental fillings like gold and silver. Composite dental fillings are also an ideal choice for those who are allergic to metals.
Composite dental fillings require more attention and time, as additional equipment is needed. In fact, getting composite dental fillings takes up about 50 percent more time than traditional metal fillings. More time leads to higher costs.
Traditional metal dental fillings were seen as unattractive but extremely durable. Over the years, advanced technology has enabled composite fillings to be more durable than ever before, ensuring strength in your tooth structure.