Fillings that Don’t Go In Pies

dental fillingsCaries.

Any idea what that word means? And, no, it’s not applicable to the running back in a football game, unless you’re talking about his teeth!

Dental caries are the most common form of oral disease in humans. The process of getting caries is called tooth decay.

You probably think of them as “cavities,” but that’s not really accurate. That term probably came from the fact that once the dentist cleans out the decay, what is left is a cavity. And that cavity can’t be left open, as food debris and bacteria would become lodged in there. It needs to be filled.

Hence, the name “filling.”

At Kalil & Kress we fill dental caries every day. To us it’s easy as pie, although that idiom really makes no sense to us. Pies aren’t really that easy. Uh, moving on…

Types of fillings at Kalil & Kress

You’re probably familiar with silver fillings, particularly if you’re over 40. Want to know a secret? They’re not really silver, they’re actually mostly mercury! Holy bottom of Boston Harbor, Batman! Yes, that is disconcerting to many people. Silver fillings are made of silver amalgam. To make them, we mix mercury (50% of the eventual filling) with a powder comprised of silver, copper, tin, or zinc (usually a combination of some or all of those). There really isn’t any potential for harm from the mercury in your amalgam fillings. They’ve been studied by the FDA and they’ve been used since the 1800s. Still, some people don’t like the idea of being like a fish at the bottom of Lake Erie.

Composite fillings are becoming more popular with all of us at Kalil & Kress. Not only are they virtually invisible once placed in a tooth, but they are becoming stronger and stronger with technological advances. The resin is made of a mixture of plastic and glass. In the past, composite fillings have had a much shorter lifespan when compared with amalgam, but that is changing.

Ceramic or porcelain fillings have the admirable quality of being durable and having high aesthetic value because their color can closely match the natural color of the patient’s teeth. They are more expensive, but resist staining and aren’t easily scratched as composite resin can be.

Glass ionomer fillings are made of a combination of acrylic and glass. They are the stuff of children, as they are intended for baby teeth. This is because they only last five years and release fluoride to strengthen the surrounding natural teeth.

Gold fillings used to be popular, but not so much anymore because they are very visible and expensive. Still, they are very durable, sturdy, and non-corrosive.

If you have tooth pain, it may be a sign that decay has entered the interior of your tooth. Call us at 603-880-7004 and we’ll take a look and discuss filling options with you.

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