If you have a cavity, there are several options available to restore your tooth depending on the size of the cavity. When the cavity is found early to mid stage in its progression, fillings are commonly used. There are 2 types of fillings; silver (amalgam) and white (composite).
White fillings have become the material of choice as it can be used almost anywhere in the mouth without compromising strength or esthetics. White fillings form a chemical bond against the tooth to form a seal, and it is this chemical bond that allows it to ‘stick’ to the tooth. White fillings, sometimes referred to as ‘bonding’, can be used as an esthetic and cost effective way to close small gaps and repair small chips even on your front teeth.
Silver fillings adapt to the tooth and form a seal against the tooth when it sets or ‘hardens’. During this process, the silver filling expands to wedge itself into the space it has been placed, and it is this expansion that allows a tight seal to form against the tooth. However, this may create cracks and can lead to weakening or eventual fracturing of the tooth. With the growing concern of esthetics and mercury present in silver fillings, it has become less common to place them.
The presence of cavities is an oral disease and can be very destructive to the health of your teeth. If cavities spread in the mouth from tooth to tooth, it can potentially lead to a lot of sensitivity, pain, and even tooth loss. That is why it is important to focus on preventing cavities before they start. Many factors can affect your susceptibility to cavities including certain medications, diet, and oral hygiene. Drs. Linda and Benson Wong and the team at Mission Park Dental in Kelowna can help you understand your individual risk for cavities. Please contact us to reserve an appointment and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.