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The best approach to dealing with cavities is not to get them in the first place. You can avoid cavities by eating a healthy, balanced diet, brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Seeing your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams will also go a long way to keeping your smile cavity-free. But from time to time, a cavity may appear on one of your teeth and you will need to see your dentist for a filling. But what kind of filling will you need?

If your child gets a filling in a baby tooth, your dentist may recommend a glass ionomer filling or a resin filling. They are good for baby teeth, or very small cavities, and they are very resilient.  

For permanent teeth, if you need a smaller cavity repaired in a tooth that other people can easily see and does not receive a great pressure, you may want to talk to your dentist about a ceramic filling, or a composite filling.  Porcelain fillings look natural, but they usually take two visits to place and are fragile.

Composite fillings are made from a combination of powdered glass and acrylic resin and can be shaded to match the surface of your tooth. However, they are not as strong as other fillings. Gold fillings are strong, and last a for a long time, sometimes for as long as twenty years. But they are a more expensive option.

Amalgam fillings are also very strong and are good for cavities in molars and premolars. They are silver in color but eventually fade to grey. They can be made of a combination of silver, copper, tin or zinc, and often mercury. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the level of mercury in amalgam fillings is safe for people. Once your dentist has examined your cavity, he will be able to determine the best filling for your situation.

If you have a tooth that has been giving you trouble, or if it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, then it is time that you planned a visit with our dentist, Dr. Dhiraj Sharma. If you live in the Chicago, Illinois, area and would like to schedule an appointment American Dental Associates, call 773-284-1645 today. We’re looking forward to helping you have a healthy smile!