Fillings and Restorations in Northern New Jersey
What is a Tooth Filling?
A tooth filling is a way of restoring a tooth damaged by decay back to its original shape and function. The dentists at Garden State Dental in Northern New Jersey will first remove the decay, clean the area and restore the structure with either an amalgam, gold, composite, or porcelain filling. There are different types of materials used to fill cavities that includes gold and metal alloys.
Below are the Common Types of Dental Fillings:
- Porcelain (ceramic) fillings are usually a combination of porcelain, glass powder, and ceramic. Candidates for porcelain fillings are typically crowns, veneers, and onlays and inlays. Unlike ionomers, porcelain fillings are more durable, but can become fractured if exposed to prolonged biting pressures.
- Composite (plastic) fillings are the most commonly used material in dental fillings and very popular because it can match or mimic the shade of your existing teeth.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are the silver-colored material many people have had placed in their teeth following treatment of a cavity. Many amalgams are actually a combination of various metal alloys, including copper, tin, silver and mercury. Mercury, a binding agent used in amalgams, has come under scrutiny lately by some health officials who claim it may cause long-term health problems. Silver amalgams are durable and will last for a long time. This is less expensive than tooth colored fillings but have less aesthetic value.
- Glass ionomers are made from a combination of various materials, including ground glass and acrylic resins. Ionomers are typically used for fillings near the gum line or tooth root, where biting pressure is not a factor. They are more fragile than dental amalgam.
- Gold fillings also referred to as a inlay or onlay are generally considered the most durable, lasting 20 years or more. They are also the most costly. This type of restoration will require more than one office visit to place, impressions are taken and sent to the dental laboratory to be fabricated, and at your following visit permanently cemented.
Is Mercury in a Dental Filling Safe?
The American Dental Association cautions that emotional reports claiming amalgam is responsible for a variety of diseases are confusing and perhaps even alarming people to the point where they will not seek necessary dental care. Moreover, the ADA maintains that there has been no scientific evidence to show that amalgams are harmful because the miniscule amounts of mercury are so stable, they present no risks to humans. There have been rare cases of patients developing allergic reactions to amalgams.