- Category: Restorative Dentistry
What is a dental filling? A dental filling is a restorative procedure to correct and repair tooth decay, minor fractures and similar damage to the surfaces of your teeth. These fillings can be comprised of porcelain/composite or silver amalgam and can also be used to adjust the surfaces of your teeth for better chewing and biting. Each material option used in the filling procedure comes with its pros and cons. name at clinic offers a variety of restorative materials to choose from so you can smile with confidence.
Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
Composite fillings are often chosen for their natural tooth colored appearance. In addition, fillings made from dental composite contain no mercury or other metals which may sometimes contribute to the sensitivity of some patients. Some patients also complain from a metal taste after the completion of silver amalgam fillings.
Durability of Dental Fillings
The lifespan of your dental fillings will be directly affected by your oral hygiene. Generally amalgam fillings have a life expectancy of 12 years, whereas composite fillings have a life expectancy of 5-7 years. Technological advances have worked on making the dental composite more durable as the strength of composite resin has increased and can now be used for all tooth restorations, including molars. Composite resin materials also require less preparation time than silver amalgam and may not weaken the tooth as much as metal fillings. Meaning that less healthy tooth structure is removed when placing a composite filling. Yet, amalgam fillings still hold the longer lasting record with regards to dental fillings.
Tooth Decay Restoration
Composite resin fillings require the use of additional equipment lengthening the entire procedure to nearly 50% more than required for the silver amalgam fillings. It is because of this that the price for composite fillings is more than that of amalgam fillings. Another factor to consider is that most dental insurance policies will not cover additional costs for fillings placed with composite resin.
Dental Crown: A tooth that requires more support than can be provided by a dental filling will require a dental crown.
Dental Implants and/or Dental Bridge: Damage to the tooth that is irreparable and requires extraction will need a dental implant to restore the structure of the tooth and maintain a healthy looking smile. A dental bridge will be required in a case involving two or more severely decayed teeth needing extraction.
Root Canal: Nerve damage, abscission, or infection to the roots of a tooth will require a root canal in which the infected roots of the tooth are removed, the tooth disinfected, and then sealed to prevent further infection. Learn more.
Dental Filling Procedure
During your preventative dental check-ups and cleanings, name ( Dentist) will diagnose your teeth and gums, along with the supporting bone structure. Once he/she detects an area affected by damage or decay, name ( Dentist) will begin preparing the tooth for restoration. The damage or decay will be removed by a dental laser or hand piece prior to disinfection. After the bacteria and decay is removed, the tooth will be isolated to prevent moisture from interfering in the bonding of the composite filling to the tooth. Once the adhesive is set, it is cured with a high intensity light causing it to harden and the restoration process is complete.
Dental Filling Cost
Due to the fact that composite fillings require more time than amalgam fillings, the cost is also more expensive. In many cases, patients who have received silver amalgam fillings often return to their dentist at a later date and have them replaced with composite resin fillings. The cost for a composite resin filling will range between $135 and $240, while the cost of a silver amalgam filling will range from $110 and $200 per filling. Other factors that may influence the cost of fillings include:
- The dentist’s experience.
- The dentist’s location.
- The number of tooth surfaces requiring treatment. For instance, one tooth many only have one surface affected by decay while another tooth may have all surfaces affected.
- Most dental insurance companies will not cover the additional cost involved with composite fillings.