Adults tend to develop teeth cavities much less frequently than children do, but this still can occasionally occur. If an older adult hasn’t had a cavity since childhood, this person may be surprised at the different materials available for fillings today. The patient may want to request that the Dentist in Puyallup WA fill the cavity with a different substance than the traditional silver-colored amalgam material.
Drilling away the decay and filling it with a suitable material prevents the tooth from decaying further. It also restores chewing function and ends any pain the person had been experiencing. Older adults also sometimes have an old filling come loose so that it must be replaced. A Dentist in Puyallup WA replaces these filings for patients.
The amalgam fillings are made with silver, copper, zinc, tin and a small amount of mercury. Some men and women have become nervous about mercury in their fillings. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a cautionary statement about concerns for women who need a tooth filled while pregnant.
An increasingly popular alternative is a composite filling that has a similar color to natural teeth and is much less noticeable when the person smiles, yawns or laughs. This filling is made of a combination of plastic and resin, and can be requested at a clinic such as Meridian South Family Dentistry.
The filling does cost somewhat more, and the patient may need to pay for the extra cost out of pocket if insurance will not cover the upgrade. In addition, amalgam fillings are considered to be more durable. For that reason, some insurance policies will not cover composite fillings in molars, since those teeth typically get the most impact from chewing.
Ceramic fillings can be placed as well, although this choice is less common. They look very nice but the material is brittle, making it a higher risk for breakage. Dentists try to prevent future breakage by adding more material to the filling, but that requires drilling more of the natural tooth away. Ceramic may be most reasonable when the filling is toward the front of the mouth and the person can avoid chewing any hard substances with this tooth.
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