Dental fillings restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal shape and function, and are a vital aspect of your overall oral health.
If you have a tooth that requires a filling, our knowledgeable Grand Rapids dentists will remove the decayed material, clean the affected area and then fill the cavity with a filling material. This filling will help to prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter and cause harm to the tooth.
The experienced dentists and knowledgeable team at Great Lakes Dental Care provide patients with several options for filling materials, including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. Our caring and professional team will assess your situation and help you determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.
The various filling material options that are available to you are explained in more detail below.
These fillings are custom-made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it to be the best filling material. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
Made of silver, Amalgam fillings are a less expensive choice than gold but are stronger and stand up to more wear and tear. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as in your front teeth.
Made of plastic resins, these fillings are custom-made to the exact color of your teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While these white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They also 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.
Also called inlays or onlays, these fillings are custom-made in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining and cost about the same as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown or cap may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.