To treat a cavity, first your dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Next, a driller or laser will be used to remove the decayed area. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris.
If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass- ionomer, calcium hydroxide, or other material to protect the nerve.
Generally, after the filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish it.
Today, several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with Gold; Porcelain; Silver Amalgam or tooth-colored, plastic, and material called composite resin fillings.
There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as Glass ionomer, this material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.
The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, your insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation assist in determining the best type of filling for you.
In the past, gold was known to be the best material to require teeth but it was later dropped due to its yellow color and high price.
-Durability – lasts at least 10 to 15 years and usually longer; doesn’t corrode
-Strength – can with stand chewing forces
-Aesthetics – some patients find gold more pleasing to the eye than silver amalgam filling
-Expense – gold filling cost up to 10 times higher than amalgam.
-Additional office visits – requires at least two office visits to place.
-Galvanic shock – a gold filling placed immediately next to a silver amalgam filling may cause a sharp pain (galvanic shock) to occur. The interaction between the metals and saliva causes an electric current to occur.
-Aesthetics – most patients dislike metal “colored” fillings and prefer fillings that match the rest of the tooth.