The Types of Tooth Fillings Every Dental Assistant Should Know

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Most people are unaware of the wide range of dental filling options available when they visit the dentist. In fact, different types of fillings are better for different dental conditions. This is why dental professionals do not simply hand over a a�?filling menua�� and ask patients to take their pick.

Dental assistants are responsible for mixing together the various materials needed to create fillings. Fillings are required to repair chips, cracks, and cavities in teeth. The type filling used will depend on a range of factors, including the location and severity of the damage or decay, as well as the patient’s insurance coverage.

If you’re considering a dental assistant career, read on to learn about some of the types of fillings that you will come across during your career.

How a Certified Dental Assistant Helps with the Filling Procedure

Most people visit the dentists’ office for fillings when they have a cavity. Dental assistants usually meet with patients beforehand to get them settled in the examination room, and to have a chat about the procedure. These professionals are also typically required to prepare all of the necessary tools for the dentist.

When filling a tooth, the dentist will first numb the area surrounding the tooth using a local anesthetic. He or she will then use a drill (or in some cases an air abrasion instrument) to remove any decay that might be found inside the cavity. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist prepares the area to be filled by cleaning out bacteria and debris.

A certified dental assistant is present during the entire process to make sure that the dentist has all the required tools, dressings and compounds needed for the procedure to be a success.

A Good Dental Assistant Program Teaches Students About Filling Materials

One of the things you’ll learn while earning your dental assistant certification is that there are a wide variety of materials that can be used for dental fillings, each one having its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes patients will have a couple of choices as to which material they’d prefer, since the materials offer different aesthetic appearances and are in varying price ranges. Experts know that the most common materials used for fillings include; composite, silver amalgam, ceramic and gold. Herea��s a quick guide to each type:

1. Composite fillings are popular because their ivory colour blends in well with teeth. Composite is versatile and can be used for cavities, as well as chipped or broken teeth. It can chemically bond to a patient’s tooth structure, which provides lasting support.

2. Silver amalgam fillings are durable. In fact, they last anywhere between 10 and 15 years, which make them slightly stronger than composite fillings. Among the various filling materials, silver amalgam is also the most affordable and it takes the least amount of time to install.

3. Ceramic fillings are also tooth-colored and are usually made of porcelain. They are highly resistant to staining but can be abrasive to surrounding teeth if they start wearing out and becoming rough.

4. Gold fillings are the priciest option, but are also very long-lasting and sturdy. Some patients find the way a gold filling looks to be more appealing than silver amalgam, or even composite fillings.

Once the procedure is complete, dental assistants usually take a few minutes to talk with patients about properly caring for their filling. It’s important that patients know to contact the dental office right away if their fillings take any damage or start to lose grip on the tooth, as this could potentially cause further damage to the teeth.

Interested in enrolling in a dental assisting program that offers hands-on training using the latest dental equipment?

Visit CADH for program details, or to set up a meeting with an advisor.

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