When a tooth has small damage due to decay or fracture, we can make simple repairs using dental filling
material. This will help protect the tooth from additional damage and restore its function. When making repairs, our team at Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City takes your child's oral health and appearance into consideration, we want them to be healthy while also feeling confident in their smile.
Composite Fillings Composite fillings are one of the material options available in making simple repairs to teeth. The composite material is a mixture of glass or quartz that is blended with resin, together this produces a durable, strong filling that we can shade to match your child's natural tooth color. Composite fillings are sometimes also referred to as simply composites or filled resins.
What are the benefits of Composite fillings?
Composite fillings are a great option in small tooth repair. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite adheres to the tooth structure, meaning we can remove less tooth to make repairs. Additionally, we can repair chips and cracks through a process known as bonding.
What limitations are there?
Composite fillings come with many benefits, but also some limitations. Composite fillings are durable but not as durable as a dental crown. Additionally, they will require replacement after several years. Additionally, composite material can stain or discolor over time. The placement of composite fillings can be more difficult with children; this is because it requires that we have the space clean and dry before placement, meaning children need to remain still while the work is being done. This process can take longer, causing children to feel uncomfortable. The cost of composite fillings is moderate; more than a silver filling but much less than porcelain crowns or inlays.
Composite fillings are a great option for small enamel repairs. This material costs a little more, but the patient receives a repair that mimics the natural tooth color and the natural translucency of enamel, giving the patient an excellent appearance. Composite is also a highly durable product that is resistant to fracture with normal chewing pressure.
Ionomer Fillings Ionomers fillings are a tooth-colored filling material that can also adhere to the tooth enamel, similar to composite material. It is made of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders that are used to fill cavities, particularly those on the root surfaces of teeth. Generally considered an emergency or instant repair, ionomers are often used as a temporary material before a crown, or other device is attached. Besides emergency situations, Ionomers are commonly used in the repair of baby teeth, or primary teeth, when it is understood that the repair does not need to last for long periods of time. We use them on primary teeth because they are quick to place, making the process faster and easier for younger patients.
What are the benefits to Ionomer fillings?
Ionomers come with a few great benefits over other fillings materials. They are quick to place, they adhere to the enamel, and they release a small amount of fluoride, helping younger patients who are still learning to take care of their teeth.
What limitations are there?
The biggest limitation to ionomer fillings is their limited durability. Ionomer fillings are not meant to be a long-term repair, they are subject to fracture and breakage when strong pressure is applied.
Ionomers work better than composites in wet areas but experience high wear OR fracture if large fillings are placed on chewing surfaces. Both glass and resin ionomers mimic natural tooth color but lack the natural translucency of enamel or composite
Amalgam fillings are the most recognizable dental filling material. This is in large part due to their high visibility. Amalgam fillings are silver in color; they are highly durable and long lasting, but also very noticeable. Dental amalgam is made using a blend of metals including silver, tin, copper, mercury and other metallic elements. Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, its mercury content has raised some concern in patients.
What are the benefits of Amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings are the traditional material used in filling cavities. This material has been used for many years and is noted to withstand very high chewing loads. Many dentists prefer this material for enamel repairs in children because they are durable, can withstand a high chewing pressure and less cost. They are also useful in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line. It remains a valued treatment option because it is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive in comparison to other materials.
What limitations are there?
The disadvantages in using amalgam include some patients reporting sensitivity to metal and sensitivity to hot or cold after placing the filling. Amalgam is also the filling material that is least able to hide due to its dark color. Amalgam is durable, but often requires a larger portion of the natural tooth to be removed to place because it does not adhere to the tooth, but is set inside.
Amalgam has a long history; we can project its wear and durability. Amalgam can be placed in wet areas and placed more quickly than composite. However, amalgam is dark colored, it can fracture teeth after many years, and can be sensitive to temperature and chewing metal foil, and usually more tooth must be cut away to place it.