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Getting my first fillings on Wednesday
Depressed and confused - which type should I choose?

 4:03 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sigh. At nearly 26 years of age, the dentist told me today that I will need my first fillings. They're both very small areas in my back teeth. I'd hoped to make it to at least 40 before needing any fillings, but I guess life happens, and in hindsight I should probably never have listened to the orthodontist who told me to stop brushing my teeth every day.

Be that as it may, I find there is some question as to what types of fillings I could choose. I know nothing about any of them, and although Google is turning up some useful information, I'd like to hear some personal recommendations. Amalgam, resin, glass ionomer, or gold - what have been other's experiences with each?

How depressing. How long does a filling normally last before the tooth simply needs to be pulled? I didn't make it to 40 without fillings, but I'd sure like to make it there without dentures!



 4:09 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)


What is the big deal.

My daughter, at Six, got 5 fillings in her milk teeth..

Nothing to worry. It is only fillings not a root canal.

Why not try a platinum or maybe kevlar filling...



 4:10 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just joking abt. the platinum/kevlar thing..

I guess, you really are strung up..so I thought I would clarify..



 4:49 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Caveat: I am not a dentist. However, I am married to one so I've heard a thing or 2 over the years.

1. Your dentist should be able to run down the pros and cons of the various materials (just don't listen to anyone who says not to brush daily! Eeew!). Another good source for info is the American Dental Association.
2. Amalgam is a good material for chewing surfaces on back teeth.
3. Just because you get a filling doesn't mean you will lose the tooth. The filling will eventually need to be replaced to be sure that you don't get decay underneath it.
4. Brush and floss daily and get regular cleanings.


 5:13 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the assurance everyone. I guess fillings aren't as big of a deal as I'm making them out to be - it's just that "no cavities" was always such a huge thing in my family that I guess I have a sort of horror of fillings and dentures.

just don't listen to anyone who says not to brush daily! Eeew!

There actually was some reasoning behind that recommendation that seemed logical at the time. Some of my front teeth were/are kind of yellow and discolored. I don't smoke and my teeth were sparkling clean, so the orthodontist suggested that I might be brushing too often and wearing off my enamel so the dentin showed through. I don't know anything about teeth, so when he said brushing once every few days might be a good option for me, I followed his advice. Maybe he was a quack, I don't know, but he was and still is well-respected around here. I'm definitely going back to brushing every day again! ;)

My current dentist says my teeth are yellow-tinged because that's just the color of teeth some people have, which seems more likely to me. It's not like they're really bad or noticeably yellow at a glance; they're just not white if you look at them closely.

I guess, you really are strung up..so I thought I would clarify..

Not really strung up, just kind of "down in the mouth," so to speak! ;) Kevlar fillings sound like an interesting idea though - but don't you suppose PVC might last longer? <grin>


 5:35 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmm, I think I made it into my mid 30s without fillings.

The cheapest sort come free(ish) in the UK on the NHS, so when I asked the dentist if there was any practical reason other than appearance not to go for the cheap amalgam she said no. So I saved myself a ton of cash.

But next time I'll go for the kevlar with fricking LASER BEAMS (mwha ha ha!)...




 5:49 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

"fricking LASER BEAMS"

Dr. Evil?



 6:17 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I always prefer caramel or perhaps a nice vanilla cream..



 6:21 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

umm sorry..

What I meant to say was.. I think amalgam has much more problems with decay underneath the filling.. Amalgam is also much more noticeable.. The resin is generally white and is much less obtrusive. I don't think they even ask around here any longer, for new fillings its resin only using the dental amalgam for patching up old silver fillings..


 4:32 am on Apr 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

>How long does a filling normally last before the tooth simply needs to be pulled? I didn't make it to 40 without fillings, but I'd sure like to make it there without dentures!

Fillings generally last longer than your Denist advises. I have several Amalgam fillings over 20 years old!

In later years resin fillings were the way to go......they look better and last even longer!

Don't worry about dentures.....they are a thing of the past. Implants and bridges have been the way to go for the last 20 years, and they last a very long time.

I have two bridges and several caps/crowns/veneers/implants....you really can't tell, even yourself, the difference between real teeth and these artificial creations.

They are a tad painful to have done (especially on the wallet).....but, after a couple of days you think they are your own natural teeth again!


 4:27 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, it's over. I didn't expect to have such a reaction to the Novacaine - I felt drugged for an hour afterwards, and I certainly wasn't fit to drive myself home afterwards, although I somehow made it in one piece. I gather that these reactions are fairly rare, but if I ever have to do this again I guess I'll need a ride home...

I chose the composites, and from what I've been able to tell so far, they hardly show at all back there. I'll know better later in the day when (hopefully!) I'll be able to open my mouth a little wider! ;)

Overall not too bad - thanks everyone for the advice and encouraging words!


 5:31 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

About filling durability:

In the past year I've had two fillings replaced: one of them had lasted ~20 years, and the other was ~11 years old. The 11 year old one was still sound (i.e. no problems with decay or damage to the tooth), but I had it replaced because the dentist who filled the tooth in the first place had done a poor job which resulted in mild pain on one side when eating anything remotely hard.

I've got two more fillings that I don't expect will need replacing for at least five years, and possibly quite a bit more...


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