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In this article, we’ll walk you through the dental fillings process and types of fillings, as well as all the common questions we are asked about Ohio dental fillings.

Ohio Dental Fillings | A Complete Guide: Process

Why and when are dental fillings required?

Dental fillings are required when a tooth develops a crack or cavity, which is a decayed portion of the tooth. Left untreated, the decay will continue to eat through the tooth and lead to tooth loss and potential infection.

What is the process for a dental filling?

After diagnosing a cavity, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic in the gum surrounding the problem tooth. Next, the decayed area of the tooth will be removed through the use of a drill, laser, or abrasion instrument (the device used will depend on the level of decay and/or level of comfort and training of your dental professional).

The dentist will then test the area of the tooth that was drilled to determine if all of the decayed material was successfully removed. He or she will then clean the cavity and surrounding area to remove any bacteria or debris.

If near the nerve of the tooth, a glass or composite liner may be inserted to protect the root of the tooth. Next, the dentist will apply the filling composite in layers, hardening each layer with a special “curing” light that solidifies each layer of composite.

Once completed, the dentist will shape and polish the filling material to the desired shape and smoothness, matching the state of the original tooth structure.

Ohio Dental Fillings | A Complete Guide: Types of Dental Fillings

There are multiple Ohio dental fillings available, from realistic composites to metallic and even glass.

Gold Dental Fillings – The benefits of gold fillings are mainly an aesthetic choice, though cast gold fillings are strong, will not corrode, and last for several decades at a minimum. The pitfalls of cast gold dental fillings are first and foremost that they are generally very expensive, costing upwards of 10 times a silver amalgam dental filling. They also typically require at least two visits to the dentist to place. The biggest thing to be aware, though rare, is that a cast gold filling placed next to a silver amalgam filling can create an electrical current carried by your own saliva, resulting in a painful shock to occur in the mouth.

Silver Amalgam Dental Fillings – A common choice for Ohio dental fillings is the silver amalgam filling, which is made with a mix of mercury, zinc, tin, copper, and silver. These are strong and durable, lasting several decades at a minimum, and generally are the least expensive dental filling. The complaints with silver dental fillings are that they stand out against the natural color of the tooth. Additionally, more are of the tooth is generally drilled out to make extra room required for the silver amalgam fillings to take. Silver amalgam can also cause allergic reactions in a small percentage of patients (less than 1% on average) and have the ability to expand with temperature changes in the mouth, potentially leading to cracking. The mercury contained in these dental fillings do release low levels of mercury vapor. Though higher levels of mercury can lead to severe health problems, the FDA and ADA have each found no link between dental fillings and mercury poisonings, declaring silver amalgam dental fillings completely safe for people over 6 years old.

Ohio Dental Fillings | Ohio Cavity Fillings | Cleveland Dental Institute

Composite Dental Fillings – The most popular reason for composite fillings is that they are tooth-colored, leading to dental fillings that closely or perfectly match the natural color of your affected tooth. Structurally, composite dental fillings bond to the structure of the tooth on a microscopic level, leaving no micro-spaces between the tooth and the dental filling and causing a super strong repair. On occasion, less tooth material will need to be removed to fill with composite in comparison to metal fillings. The downfall of composite dental fillings is that they do not last as long when compared to silver or gold fillings, often requiring re-working after 5-10 years and they are subject to chipping and staining over time. They also take as much as half and hour longer to put in place by the dentist, and cost usually twice as much compared to metal fillings.

Glass ionomer dental fillings – Another of the Ohio dental fillings used is the glass ionomer filling, which is a composite of a special form of glass and acrylic. Glass dental fillings are often used for young children as well as for filling cavities of the tooth that are below the gum line. Another benefit of glass ionomer is that it naturally releases fluoride which further protects the enamel of the tooth. The downside of glass fillings is that they only last about 5 years and are a weaker material subject to cracking and wear.

Ceramic Dental Fillings – Ceramic Ohio Dental Fillings (also called porcelain fillings), like composite dental fillings, are more closely colored to the natural color of the tooth. However, unlike composite fillings, ceramic dental fillings are stain-resistant. They’re also strong, lasting 15 years or more. Ceramic fillings come with a price though and can often cost as much as a gold filling.

Insurance Coverage

Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the silver amalgam Ohio dental fillings. For gold, glass, ceramic or porcelain, and composite fillings, many plans will cover the cost UP TO THE COST of the silver amalgam filling price. The difference from there is the responsibility of the patient. Cleveland Dental Institute is proud to accept ALL insurance plans for the treatment of cavities and to help cover the cost of Ohio dental fillings. If you have a question regarding your coverage, please contact us!

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