Cavities are caused by an erosion of the enamel, the hard tissue covering the visible portion of your beautiful teeth. Whatever caused this cavity can cut deeper into your tooth until the pulp and nerves in there are exposed. At this stage, your tooth becomes sensitive and even painful. Further neglect can lead to severe pain, abscess formation, and even loss of the tooth. A timely filling will prevent such problems.
Dental fillings are made from a variety of materials using slightly varying procedures.Their choice by the dentist and the patient depends upon various factors, such as their esthetics, strength, durability and of course! Their cost!
Metal filligs are also of two types:
Amalgam — This is the classic “silver” filling in which has been used very reliably for over a century. The dental amalgam is an alloy made up of mercury, with powdered silver, tin, and traces of copper. The mercury forms, what is technically called an amalgam. Amalgamation makes the mercury stable and safe. These fillings are strong and inexpensive. The amalgam can be readily prepared in the office. Hence the filling can be finished quickly within a single sitting. However, amalgam fillings are conspicuous and noticeable. Also, they require relatively more (drilling) than other types.
Composite — If you do not want the filling to show up different, a composite filling one choice. Composites are mixtures of plastic and glass which are available in various colors to match your teeth. Composites are less expensive than amalgam but may have a slightly shorter life. Also they can crack and may even stain.
Porcelain — Indirect (fabricated inside the laboratory and then attached inside the tooth)Fillings made of dental ceramics look natural, are strong, and don’t stain like composites can. They are more expensive than composites. They are made either in the dental laboratory or in the office using high-tech CAD / CAM equipment. In the latter case they can be made in a single visit. While they are aesthetically the most popular, they are also brittle, and may chip or crack.
Glass Ionomer — Acrylic when mixed with glass powders makes an ionomer. Glass ionomer fillings are inexpensive and translucent fillings. They blend with the natural tooth color and also release a small amount of fluoride. The fluoride helps prevent decay. Normally they do not last as long as other fillings of other materials.