Dental Fillings

Dr. Brian Coats offers composite, porcelain, and gold fillings. The type of filling you should get depends on your specific dental scenario. Call us at 303-776-4090 to schedule an appointment for a dental filling.

What is a Dental Filling?

A filling is a replacement material used to fill holes in your teeth caused by decay. It is used to restore your tooth back to its original function and shape. When placing a filling, the dentist removes the decay, cleans the infected area, and fills the cavity with filling material.

Yet, it is best to avoid having to get fillings. Cavity prevention is the best treatment you can have. Things you can do to decrease your chances of getting cavities, or other dental ailments include:

  • Brushing your teeth 2x a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Daily flossing
  • Following a balanced diet
  • Having check-ups with your dentist on a regular basis

Dental Filling Types

There are numerous materials that a tooth can be filled with to restore the shape, color, and function of the tooth. Considerations for different materials include:

Composite resins

Composite resins are plastic-type materials, which are tooth color and are used where a natural appearance is desired. The tooth-colored material is placed directly in the cleaned cavity and hardened by blue-colored light.

Composites may not be the ideal material for large replacement areas in the tooth, as they can chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from liquids such as tea, coffee, and tobacco. This type of filling generally lasts from 3 to 15 years, depending on how well the patient takes care of their teeth. Many composites in my experience have l lasted as long as 20-25 years.

Porcelain fillings

Porcelain fillings which are called inlays or onlays are fillings made from a laboratory after an impression is made of the tooth with the missing areas from the decay. The porcelain cover is then bonded to the tooth to restore the missing area. These are used when a very large portion of the tooth was affected with decay and was removed, leaving a large missing area. These can last much longer than conventional fillings.

Gold fillings

Gold fillings are also called inlays and onlays are composed of an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals, and are made in a laboratory. These fillings are well tolerated by the gums and cause less wear to the opposing teeth than porcelain. They also frequently last longer than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is also the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

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