Types of Dental Fillings

Posted by Kobi Voshell Oct 19, 2023

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When a tooth is damaged by decay, your dentist may recommend a filling to restore it. A filling is a restoration that replaces a decayed tooth structure with a material that restores the tooth’s function and appearance. During the procedure, the dentist removes the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth, cleans the affected area, and then fills the space with a biocompatible material, such as composite resin, amalgam, or ceramic, to restore the tooth's normal function, shape, and strength. At Willow Creek Family Dentistry, dental fillings not only prevent the progression of decay but also help to improve the appearance of the affected tooth, maintaining overall oral health and function. 

The Procedure for Dental Fillings 

Before our dentist begins the procedure, they will numb the area with a local anesthetic. Then, the dentist in Iowa City, IA, will drill out the decayed portion of the tooth and clean it thoroughly to remove any bacteria. Next, the filling material will be placed in the hole and shaped to fit comfortably in your tooth. Finally, the filling will be hardened with a special light. 

After your procedure, you may experience some sensitivity around the treated area. This is usually temporary and will subside after a few days. Be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by our dentist to ensure a successful recovery. 

The Different Types of Dental Fillings 

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings 

Silver amalgam has been the standard for tooth fillings for many years. These fillings are made of silver, copper, tin, mercury, and other metals. They are solid and durable, but they do have drawbacks. First, they can cause teeth to discolor over time. Second, they are noticeable when you smile or laugh. Third, they contain mercury, which some people are concerned about. 

Composite Resin (Tooth-Colored) Fillings 

Composite resin is a newer type of filling made of a plastic-based material. It is tooth-colored, so it doesn’t cause discoloration. It also bonds to the tooth structure, making it less likely to fall out. However, composite resin is less durable than amalgam, so it’s usually reserved for smaller cavities. 

Gold Fillings 

Gold fillings in Iowa City, IA, are also made of a metal alloy but are more expensive than amalgam or composite resin. They are also more durable than either of the other two options. 

Porcelain Fillings 

Porcelain fillings are made of ceramic material and can be matched to the color of your teeth. They are also stain-resistant and durable. However, they can be more expensive than other types of fillings. 

Glass Ionomer Fillings 

Glass ionomer fillings are made of glass and acrylic and are the least common type of filling. They are less durable than the other types but are less likely to cause staining of the surrounding teeth. 

If you have any questions about the dental filling procedure, visit Willow Creek Family Dentistry at 2346 Mormon Trek Blvd, Suite 2600, Iowa City, IA 52246, or call (319) 339-4456 to schedule an appointment.

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2346 Mormon Trek Blvd, Suite 2600,
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