Tooth Fillings in Gainesville, GA
When you need professional dental fillings to help restore your teeth, Hawkins Family Dental can help. When a tooth becomes decayed, cracked, chipped, or fractured, a dental filling can offer the best solution.
While dental fillings may seem like something that only kids get, tooth decay is something that occurs well into adulthood, particularly if you don’t maintain proper oral health. However, even with sufficient preventive dental care and regular check-ups, some people simply have teeth that are more sensitive to decay and cavities.
Regardless of your situation, the restorative dentists at Hawkins Family Dental provide affordable solutions for dental fillings, as well as a number of other restorative dental procedures.
How Do I Know I Need a Dental Filling?
If you receive regular check-ups, often times your dentist will know that you’re in need of a dental filling before you do. This is where those 6-month checkups and regular dental examinations become essential, as your dentist will be able to keep an eye on anything that could potentially become a bigger problem down the road.
However, if you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, it may be time to see your dentist for a dental filling:
- You’ve had a tooth filling fall out.
- You can see decay on one of your teeth.
- You can feel a small hole or crack on a tooth with your tongue.
- You’re experiencing pain while chewing.
- You’re experiencing pain with hot or cold.
Getting into the dentist’s office as soon as you identify one or more of these symptoms is crucial, particularly if you want to ensure the health of the rest of your teeth.
What Kind of Teeth Fillings are Available?
When it comes to dental fillings, the most common are either composite dental fillings or silver amalgam dental fillings. Both options offer advantages and disadvantages that can be weighed based on your personal preference, as well as the insight offered by your dentist.
Composite Dental Fillings
Composite dental fillings are a more cosmetically pleasing solution compared to amalgam dental fillings.
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Composites tooth fillings cost more than amalgam dental fillings and occasionally are not covered by some insurance plans. Also, no dental filling lasts forever. Some studies show that composite fillings can be less durable and need to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings.
It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for an amalgam filling. This is because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.
Amalgam Dental Fillings
Amalgam dental fillings, although less aesthetic pleasing, are a functional and affordable solution compared to composite dental fillings.
Dental amalgam is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Sometimes described as “silver-colored” fillings, dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time and is less expensive than other cavity-filling materials such as tooth-colored composites gold fillings.
Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings are often the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew. Amalgam hardens quickly so it is useful in areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement, such as below the gum line. Because it takes less time to place than tooth-colored fillings, amalgam is also an effective material for children and special needs people who may have a difficult time staying still during treatment.
One disadvantage of amalgam is that these types of fillings are not natural looking, especially when the filling is near the front of the mouth, where it may show when you laugh or speak. Also, to prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to place an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.