Unless you have stellar genetics and never eat sugary foods, chances are you have had at least one cavity in your lifetime. Gradual tooth decay can be the combination of many factors, including poor diet, oral hygiene and hereditary problems, though the first two are usually the source of most cavities.
Since these formations leave the underlying area of teeth exposed, they put one at an increased risk for infection and further decay (plus they are quite painful). Serious decay may require removal of the tooth and the insertion of an implant, though fillings are used for a majority of patients.
Fillings come in a few different forms, but each is intended to restore the surface integrity of the damaged tooth and stop the process of decay. Your Norcross dentist will only install a filling if the structure of your teeth has not yet been compromised, as these products are not designed to act a full replacements.
Common Types of Fillings
- Metal – Silver amalgam is by far one of the most popular materials, as it is affordable and offers long-lasting protection against decay. The durability of amalgam is why it is almost always used to fill cavities on molars. Some patients may be turned away from them for aesthetic purposes, however. Gold is also an option.
- Composite – Despite offering less protection in the way of bite pressure than metal, the main advantage of composite fillings is their appearance. The unique combination of plastic resin and glass mimics the natural color of teeth, so they are often recommended for front teeth.
- Glass ionomer – Yet another filling material that resembles natural tooth color, ionomers are also better suited in the front of the mouth. As a general rule of thumb, they are not advised for areas requiring high amounts of bite pressure (i.e. molars).
Our dentists in Norcross can help you choose the right filling type for both your budget and needs. Once in place, your ability to eat and speak will be fully restored, and that annoying cavity pain will finally be gone!