Dentistry has changed significantly in the past few decades. As technology improves, dentists are able to take advantage of advances in techniques and materials to provide better solutions for their patients. One of the most common dental procedures is a simple filling, and even those have benefited from advances in dental technology.
Traditional fillings were typically made of metal – usually an amalgam of tin, zinc, copper, and silver. Mixed together and placed into the cavities left after dentists removed decay, these fillings could last for a very long time – often 30 to 40 years – without further maintenance.
Modern dentists have far more flexibility in their choice of materials to use to fill cavities. While traditional metal amalgam is still an option for back teeth – where its low cost and high durability make it a viable option, many dentists favor composite resin – a mixture of synthetic materials such as plastic and fine glass particles. While composite resin is more expensive and requires more effort for the dentist to properly install, composite fillings can very closely match the look and feel of your natural teeth, allowing its use for front teeth and in places where traditional fillings may be too visible.
In many cases, dentists may use glass ionomer – an acrylic resin. Glass ionomer is set with a bright blue light, which seals the resin and permanently bonds it to your teeth.
If you’re in need of dental work, it’s likely that your dentist will choose one or more of the types of fillings above. If you’re curious about which your dentist will use, ask your dentist questions – they’ll be more than happy to explain which they’re using, and why they’ve selected that option.
For more information on dental fillings contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at bartzandbartzdental.com.
Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.