12620 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

410-531-5639

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Complete Guide to Dental Fillings & Sealants

Dental fillings and sealants are very commonplace. However, many of our patients have questions and concerns on these topics. Utilize the following guide to learn all about dental fillings, dental sealants, and more.

Dental Amalgams and What you Need to Know

Dental amalgams, consisting of mercury, silver, tin and copper, have become a controversial topic as of late due to health concerns. At this time, both the FDA and the U.S. Public Health Service continue to investigate the matter, but report that there's no scientific evidence linking dental amalgams to patient risk or harm, except in the case of allergic reactions to certain materials.

Other Types of Dental Fillings

Regardless of this current lack of evidence, there are several alternatives to dental amalgams which have increasing popularity, for reasons which may include aesthetic appearance and cost-effectiveness, and those above-cited concerns.

  • Composite Fillings: Composite dental fillings utilize acrylic resign and finely ground glasslike particles to produce a natural colored filling with good durability, useful for small and moderately sized restorations. Less of the tooth needs to be removed, creating a smaller filling. A composite filling may be bonded in a cavity, making a conservative tooth repair in certain situations. For high-force areas such as the back of the mouth, composites are less durable than amalgams, however.
  • Porcelain Fillings: Porcelain or ceramic fillings provide an aesthetically pleasing result, with minimal tooth removal. Not recommended for molars and high-force areas, also has a high cost, but offers good resistance to further tooth decay.
  • Glass and Resin Ionomers: Glass and resin ionomers also offer natural looking appearances with a mixture of acrylic acid or resin and fine glass powders. These are often utilized on cavities on the root surfaces of teeth, and can release fluoride to help patients fight further decay. Useful for small fillings and non-load bearing fillings, between the teeth.
  • Gold Alloys: Gold alloys may also contain copper or other metals, and offer a strong, durable filling. However, they are the most expensive, and are not natural in appearance.

Gold, porcelain and composite resin all tend to be more expensive than dental amalgams. Additionally, gold and porcelain fillings will require two appointments for placement, and composite resins may also require a longer time to place than dental amalgams. 

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants work by filling in small crevasses on a tooth, shutting out particles which may lead to decay and cavities. Sealants are quick and comfortable to be applied, and may offer years of protection, with an average of five years to be expected. They can even work to stop cavities which have only slightly begun by cutting off a supply of bacteria.

Sealants are most commonly utilized on permanent first and second molars, and are most effective when applied immediately after full tooth eruption. As such, children may receive these sealants at, approximately, the ages of six and 12 respectively.

Do you have any further questions, or would you like to schedule an appointment in regards to dental fillings or sealants in Clarksville, Maryland? Then feel free to call our office directly at 410.531.5639 today or fill out our contact form.