Conventional fillings are manufactured from composite materials, gold, or porcelain. These traditional dental materials are still used by many dentists because of their strength and durability. Since they are useful in protecting restored teeth and capable of enduring the wear and tear associated with chewing, conventional fillings have proven ideal for teeth located in the back of the mouth.

As reliable as conventional filling materials may be, we prefer to use ceramic and plastic compounds that imitate the look of natural teeth. These composite resins are used most frequently on the front teeth. These are the teeth where a natural look is most important. However, depending on the location, as well as the extent of tooth decay, ceramic and plastic compounds may be used on the back teeth too.

Tips for Choosing Filling Materials

When considering filling materials, there are different factors that impact the durability, function, longevity, and cost of dental restorations, including:
• Material components
• Remaining tooth structure
• Location and manner of how the filling is placed
• The amount of chewing load the tooth is required to tolerate
• The length of visits needed to prepare the tooth for dental restoratives
• Time needed to adjust the tooth to be restored

Prior to beginning your treatment, our staff, will present you with all of your options. Conferring with us will help you select the most effective dental restorative for your particular situation. It may be helpful to have a basic understanding of the two main types of dental fillings — direct and indirect – to plan for this dialogue,

Direct Fillings: These fillings are placed directly into a primed cavity during a single visit. Types of direct fillings include the following: glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. During this procedure, we will prepare the tooth, set the filling, and make any adjustment in just one appointment.

Indirect Fillings: These types of fillings are a bit more complicated. In general, they require a minimum of two visits, although more visits may be necessary. These dental restoratives include the following:
• Inlays
• Onlays
• Crowns
• Veneers

Bridges fabricated with base metal alloys, gold, composites or ceramics are also considered indirect fillings. During the initial visit, we will prep the tooth. We will also make an impression of the area where restoration is necessary. Next, an impermanent covering will be placed over the prepared tooth. At this stage, the impression will be sent to a dental laboratory where the dental restoration will be completed. At the last appointment, the dentist will cement the dental restoration on to the prepped cavity, making adjustments as needed.

To learn more about the types of dental restoratives we offer at Brandy Wine Dental Services Group, contact us to schedule a consultation.