So, you have a cavity. Relax, it happens to the best of us! In fact studies have shown that some people are just more prone to cavities, no matter how well they take care of their teeth! While you should always fess up to bad habits that could save your mouth that isn’t always the case!
If you have a cavity you probably need a filling, which is where Marineland Dental Care comes in! We offer fillings in several different varieties of materials to make our fillings, and that’s what we wanted to talk about today – your dental care options.
We also want to talk a bit about the history of fillings while we’re at it!
Dental Fillings: A History Of Tradition
People have been getting cavities for as long as they’ve had teeth. As far back as 9,500 years ago fillings have been used to fix them! Early fillings might be made with beeswax or various types of metals, and the tradition only honed itself over thousands and thousands of years.
In the mid 19th century, dental amalgam was developed. This mix of tin, copper, silver, and mercury was the (not)gold standard for the next couple centuries and has only recently been replaced by dental composites.
It’s safe to say that dentistry in one form or another has been around for a very long time. We’ve kept refining our understanding of proper materials and procedures, but otherwise a filling has always been a filling!
You might have noticed above – dental amalgam contains mercury. While, contrary to popular belief, the mercury in a filling isn’t harmful there is still a lot of controversy surrounding its use. We can confidently say that amalgam fillings are safe, but with advances in technology we’ve been able to create something far better!
Amalgam has largely been replaced by dental composites, a mix of glass and plastics that perfectly replicate the appearance of your natural teeth! This material goes on soft and is shaped into the perfect look before it’s instantly hardened using a special light. The result? A perfect looking smile!
Amalgam isn’t always the best option, however, and depending on the location of the cavity it can still be a good idea to use different materials.
Modern Filling Options
A lot of metals have been eliminated from the “good for fillings” pool, and we definitely don’t do fillings made out of beeswax!
Gold fillings are a classic in both look and function. These fillings are definitely expensive, but are often worth it, especially on the chewing surfaces of teeth! Gold is soft, lasts a long time, doesn’t corrode, and is incredibly resilient. In fact, gold lasts the longest out of all the dental filling materials!
Gold is a bit soft, however, so we try to limit it to just chewing surfaces. It’s also not very aesthetically pleasing, or maybe it is depending on your tastes!
This blend of metals, discussed above, has long been the standard in fillings. Its a safe, tested, and reliable way to repair damage, but there is one big drawback: it’s ugly.
Amalgam, like gold, is great for chewing surfaces and the backs of your teeth, but not so much for the ones that show when you smile! No one wants an ugly grey spot on their tooth, and even being bonded with porcelain still leaves a grey ring around your gumline!
We still use amalgam regularly, but if you want a flawless looking smile you’ll have to check with a different material!
The best choice for aesthetics! Composites don’t last as long as their metal-based cousins, but they look wonderful and can be incredibly effective! If you have tooth decay at the front of your mouth you’re going to absolutely love composite fillings!
Composite can be color-matched to your precise tooth shade, so you know you’ll get a look you’ll be happy with! We also use composite in some of our cosmetic procedures, so you know it has to look good!
No matter what kind of filling you need or want, Marineland Dental Care is here for you. We have extensive practice in placing fillings, removing old fillings, and crafting perfect smiles. Don’t wait another day in pain from a cavity – get it filled with ease by calling us at 509-591-0515! You can also schedule an appointment by using our online form. We look forward to helping you!