Do you need a "filling"? You are not alone, but if this is the first time you have had cavities, welcome to the club!
The substance of your filling depends on the size and location of the cavity, and should not be of a financial consideration. Types of fillings also depend on the extent of the decay.
If the cavity is restricted to the inner grooves of the tooth, a filling or an inlay may be used. For cavities that cover the chewing surface of the tooth, including a cusp (pointy tip), an onlay is appropriate.
While such fillings are ideal for small cavities, larger areas of decay may require a crown, which covers the entire tooth. This strategy is a common way of repairing a broken or extremely weak tooth.
Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings, but they're actually a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50% of the compound, is a powerful neurotoxin, and many people still wonder if it's safe for dental use.
Elemental metallic mercury, the type used in amalgam fillings, has been extensively studied by dentists, scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the past 100 years. Multiple studies have claimed its safety, however throwing a filling in a river or a lake it is illegal.
Resin composite fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Thanks to technological advances, dentists and patients today can choose resin-based composite fillings for any region in mouth. Newer materials are eco-friendly, gentler on the tooth structure, easier to use and tend to be stronger making them a good choice for the whole mouth.