Dental Fillings are an integral part of emergency procedures like a root canal or simply to function as sealants to prevent cavities in children. In short, dental fillings are simply required to seal the crevasses of the chewing surfaces (of especially the molars) or even to fill the void after pulling out the pulp from within your tooth (in a root canal treatment). The most common dental filling material is dental amalgam or the silver amalgam. The use of amalgams has been in question for some time now. However, the Food and Drug Administration and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service have found no valid evidence of health hazards caused by amalgams to dental patients.
The advent of alternative materials has nevertheless continued over the past decades and the list now includes: Gold and porcelain restorations, Composite resins or white fillings, etc.
In this post we would concentrate on the different kinds of dental fillings available, precisely, the alternatives to the traditional silver amalgams. The variants are as follows:
Composite fillings – Composite fillings in Sioux City are perhaps the most common alternative for a dental amalgam. It is a mixture of acrylic resin and finely ground particles which produce a tooth-colored restoration. Composite fillings are well known for providing good durability and resistance to moderate chewing pressures or fracture due to any mild trauma. A lesser amount of tooth structure is removed for preparing the tooth, and this result in a smaller amount of filling required than that of an amalgam. Composites can be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity. When it comes to teeth in which chewing loads are high, composite fillings are less resistant than silver amalgams.
Ionomers – Glass ionomers are made of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders. They are tooth-colored materials generally used to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth. Glass ionomers do release a small amount of fluoride which is a boon for patients, especially those who are at high risk for decay. However, these fillings are primarily used as small fillings in areas that need not withstand heavy chewing pressure. They have a low resistance to fracture. Thus they are mostly non-load bearing fillings (those between the teeth) or on the roots of teeth. Resin ionomers also are made from glass powder mixed with acrylic acids and acrylic resin. They also are used for small fillings due to their moderate resistance to fracture.Both glass and resin ionomers mimic your natural tooth color. Both are well suited on most patients. Very rarely there are cases of allergic responses.
Porcelain (ceramic) fillings – All-porcelain (ceramic) fillings include porcelain, ceramic or glasslike fillings and crowns. They are mainly used as inlays, onlays, crowns and aesthetic veneers. A veneer is a very thin layer of porcelain to replace or cover part of the enamel of the tooth. All-porcelain (ceramic) restorations are preferred because of their color and translucency that perfectly mimic natural tooth enamel. These restorations are prone to fracture when placed under much tension or thrust. Their strength depends on the thickness of porcelain and the ability to be bonded to the underlying tooth. They are highly resistant to wear but can quickly wear other teeth that are coming in contact if the porcelain surface becomes rough.
Advances in modern dental science and techniques have come up with newer ways to create more natural-looking smiles. Researchers are continuing with their work on developing esthetic materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds that aptly mimic the appearance of natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials for repairing their worn, damaged or decayed teeth.