Every once in a while, we ventured to the dentist's office to get a cavity filled. Because of the increased use of fluoride, improved toothpastes, and dental hygiene education, fewer people today require multiple fillings, as they did in the past. However, dental fillings are not the same as they used to be just a couple of generations ago. As a matter of fact, patients as well as their dentists have choices when it comes to this election of materials used to fill cavities, or to repair damage in decayed or cracked teeth, as well as filling gaps in the gum line where teeth are missing.
Dental Filling Choices
These days, the choices for dental fillings abound. Some of the most common dental filling materials available for use today include but are not limited to:
Patients, in conjunction with information and advice from their dentist, should decide on the type of filling depending on the location, the intended longevity, durability as well as cost of the filling. Before dental treatment is made, the dentist will take into consideration a patient's overall health, their bite habits, and the general strength of their teeth as well as chewing load. For example, many patients are rather fond of meat, hard foods like carrots, and ice cubes. Others, such as vegetarians, do not require such chewing strength.
The two most common types of dental repair or restoration are known as indirect or direct. Fillings that are laced into a prepared cavity or location within a visit are called direct restorations. The most common for such procedures include amalgam, resin and glass ionomers as well as a choice of resin composition fillings. Procedures and fillings requiring more than one visit are called indirect restorations and may require the dentist to more fully prepare the tooth for the filling as well is make impressions of areas to be repaired.
Who Benefits from Fillings?
Anyone suffering from cavities, tooth decay, or cracked or otherwise injured teeth may benefit from fillings. Fillings help to fill in spaces in teeth, prevent further damage to the tooth and protect the interior core of the tooth against exterior exposure to substances that may further damage the tooth structure. Left unfilled, cavities may very well eat away at the interior surface of the tooth, causing it not only pain, but possible infection, abscesses and the threat of infection spreading beyond the oral cavity into the bloodstream.
How Much Do Fillings Cost?
In the United States, the cost of fillings will vary depending on geographic location, dental insurance coverage, and the materials chosen for the filling. Average cost of fillings may range between $75 and $145 per tooth for basic metals, and between $150 and $250 for resin and composite filling. However, travelers venturing to destinations such as Mexico, Central Europe, and Asia may find low cost and high quality dental care at a fraction of the cost of those found for the same services in the United States.
Finding the Right Dentist
When looking for a dentist, it is important to make sure they are certified.Certification is offered through standards of the American Dental Association or other accredited dental association sub-specialty certification. When choosing a dentist in the United States, for whatever reason, check to make sure they have no complaints registered with the American Dental Association or the Better Business Bureau.
Other countries typically require membership or certification through Dental Colleges. For example, in India, a dentist should be certified through the Dental Council of India. In Singapore, a dentist should be registered with the College of Dental Surgeons. In Australia, dentists should be registered with the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons. Take the time to ask or find out about certification requirements any country you're interested in.
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