Fillings — Livonia, MI


A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function & shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area & then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic & porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed & cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:

  • Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory & then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues & may last more than 20 years.
  • Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice & are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations & are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
  • Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While these fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 & 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays & are custom created in a lab & then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, & are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

 

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