White Fillings, Gold Fillings, and Silver Amalgam Fillings
At Chelmsford Dental we offer a wide range of dental filling procedures. A dental filling is a restorative procedure that repairs teeth damaged by decay. In some cases enamel loss can cause a tooth to become sensitive and dental filling material is needed to relieve the tooth.
Tooth decay and cavities are quickly found during a routine dental appointment. Once detected, your dentist will remove the decayed material, clean the affected area, then fill the cavity with a gold, porcelain, a composite resin, or an amalgam. These filling materials close off access to bacteria and prevent further decay.
On occasions when a filling is insufficient to repair tooth decay, a dental crown, implant, bridge, or root canal may be required. With regular check-ups your dentist can detect any problems early and prevent a more costly procedure.
Preventing Dental Decay
In the past 65 years many preventive measures have helped to reduce dental disease. Preventing dental disease is easy if you follow these steps:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss or use an inter-dental cleaner once a day
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants
- Limit eating and drinking between meals. Choose nutritious, sugar-free snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Eat a balanced diet
- Ask your dentist about supplemental fluoride treatment
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Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with various metals used for dental fillings. It commonly consists of mercury, silver, tin, copper and other trace metals. Recently however, its popularity has diminished somewhat. Concern for aesthetics, environmental pollution, health, and the availability of improved, reliable, composite materials have all contributed.
This material is a combination of composite resin and glass ionomer technology. However with the focus lying towards the composite resin end of the spectrum. They are stronger than glass ionomer fillings but don't release as much fluoride.
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A porcelain inlay or onlay is an indirect restoration consisting of a solid substance fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.
When a porcelain restoration is used, the tooth-to-restoration margin may be finished and polished to a very fine line of contact to minimize recurrent decay. Opposed to this, direct composite filling pastes shrink a few percent in volume during hardening. This can lead to shrinkage stress and rarely to marginal gaps and failure. Although improvements in composite resins have been documented in recent years, solid inlays do exclude this problem.
Gold fillings have excellent durability, wear well, and do not cause excessive wear to the opposing teeth. For years, they have been considered the benchmark of restorative dental materials. Recent advances in dental porcelains and consumer focus on aesthetic results have caused demand for gold fillings to drop in favor of advanced composites and porcelain veneers and crowns.
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Dental composite resins are types of synthetic resins which are used in dentistry as restorative material or adhesives. Synthetic resins evolved as restorative materials since they were insoluble, aesthetic, insensitive to dehydration, easy to manipulate and reasonably inexpensive. Unlike amalgam which essentially just fills a hole and requires retention features to hold the filling, composite cavity restorations when used with dentin and enamel bonding techniques restore the tooth back to near its original physical integrity.
Glass Ionomer fillings
Glass ionomers contain and release fluoride, which is important in preventing carious lesions. Furthermore, as glass ionomers release their fluoride, they can be "recharged" by the use of fluoride-containing toothpaste. Hence, they can be used as a treatment modality for patients who are at high risk for caries. Newer formulations of glass ionomers that contain light-cured resins can achieve a greater aesthetic result, but do not release fluoride as well as conventional glass ionomers.
The fillings do not wear as well as composite resin fillings. Still, they are generally considered good materials to use for root caries and for sealants and seem to work well in primary teeth.
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