If you should get a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend that you get a dental filling so that you can prevent further infection and strengthen the tooth. There are different types of materials available for fillings, but the most popular types are composite (sometimes known as composite resin) and amalgam.
Amalgam fillings were the most popular type used for many years. Recently, composite resin fillings have become more popular due to their combination of durability and aesthetics.
Composite dental fillings are often preferable because they provide a more natural appearance than other types of materials. The composite resin used in these types of fillings can be customized so that it provides a great match with the shade of your surrounding teeth, making them virtually invisible to anyone glancing at your teeth and smile.
Composite resin itself is a combination of acrylic resin combined with powdered glass that serves as a filler.
Composite is useful for a number of different dental restorations like:
- Dental fillings
- Dental veneers
- Dental crowns
Composite resin can also be used by dentists to restore or repair parts of chipped or broken teeth.
For many years, amalgam was the most popular type of dental filling, and it is still in use in many places around the world. This is a very durable type of dental filling that can last up to 15 years or more.
The process of getting an amalgam filling is incredibly simple because dentists do not need to worry about keeping teeth dry and clean during the procedure. Amalgam is also less expensive than other types of materials that are employed for dental restorations.
Amalgam fillings have been fading in popularity recently. The main reason is that they are not colored to match surrounding teeth, so they don’t look very natural. Some patients are also concerned about the presence of mercury; however, the American Dental Association has found it to be safe for use in dental fillings.
Composite Fillings Procedure
The process of getting an amalgam filling is fairly well known, and getting a composite dental filling is similar in some regards.
After selecting the correct shade of composite resin that will be used to fill your tooth, your dentist will deliver a numbing shot to the treated tooth to ensure your comfort during the filling process.
Your dentist will then drill down into the tooth before removing all decayed parts. They will carefully clean and dry the area. Next, they will be etching and bonding your tooth. When composite is first applied, it is a soft material. It will be applied in layers and dried using a special light.
Your dentist will then carefully shape and contour your tooth. They will polish the composite filling so that it is extremely smooth.