What Are The Types Of Dental Fillings?
Despite modern advances in dental hygiene and care, cavities remain a significant concern for many people across the globe. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause more serious dental health problems such as abscesses and tooth loss. Visiting a dental office near you regularly for dental exams and cleanings will ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth are in perfect health. Fixing decayed or damaged teeth is necessary to prevent further damage and protect the integrity of your tooth.
In such a case, a dental filling is a necessary restoration procedure. The procedure involves cleaning the decayed parts of the tooth and filling the hole left in the tooth. The filling restores the tooth’s structure and appearance. If your dentist has recommended you for a filling procedure, they might ask you about the type of tooth fillings you’d like for your restoration. Let’s look at the various dental fillings.
Type of Dental Fillings
- Cast Gold Fillings
If you’re looking for a robust and long-lasting restoration, gold fillings might be suitable for you. These fillings are gold and a combination of other metals. Thanks to their strength, they can withstand the high forces of chewing and grinding goods. They are durable and can last for more than 20 years. While some patients might find the gold color more pleasing, others might not. Due to their aesthetics and strength, gold fillings are for back teeth restorations.
One of the significant drawbacks of gold fillings is the initial cost. Gold fillings can cost more than ten times the cost of silver amalgam fillings. Similarly, you need at least two appointments to get the treatment. Another risk is that a gold filling placed next to a silver amalgam filling may cause galvanic shock. When metals and saliva interact, they can cause an electric current, and you might experience sharp pain.
- Silver Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are among the most popular fillings. They are from silver and other minerals such as zinc, copper, mercury, and tin. On average, silver fillings can last for about 15 years due to their esthetics, strength, and durability.
The main drawback of using amalgam fillings is that they aren’t aesthetically pleasing, so they aren’t suitable for front teeth restorations. The material also tends to respond to heat and cold, and it causes the tooth to crack, exposing you to decay further. Some sources also claim that the mercury in the silver filling can cause allergic reactions. The amalgam filling can also cause a graying hue to the surrounding structure.
- Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are from tooth-colored resin materials. Only minimal tooth shaving is required to fit the filling. Most patients like this option over silver fillings because it can be customized to match the color of their existing teeth. Composite fillings can last for about ten years.
Similarly, composite fillings can repair tooth chips, decay, break, and worn-out teeth. On the downside, composite fillings aren’t as durable as silver amalgam. Additionally, they cost almost double the price of amalgam fillings.
- Ceramic Fillings
Unlike composite fillings, ceramic fillings are more durable and resist staining better. They are made of porcelain, making them both durable and aesthetically appealing. They generally last for about 15 years. On the downside, they are expensive and somehow brittle, so you should use them for large cavities to prevent breakage.
- Glass Ionomer Fillings
These filings are for temporary restoration in children. The filling is acrylic and glass. One benefit of these fillings is that they release fluoride into the tooth to protect against additional cavities. While they have a natural appearance, they aren’t as natural-looking as composite fillings. On the downside, these fillings are somehow weak and therefore more susceptible to wear and fractures. For this reason, they are bound to survive only for a few years.
What Type Of Tooth Fillings Is Right For You?
When it comes to choosing the best material for a filling, you should keep in mind several factors, including:
- The location of the damaged tooth: Gold and amalgam fillings are best suited for teeth that require much chewing and grinding force. Tooth-colored ceramic is also ideal if you’re looking for strength and esthetic advantages.
- Budget: Gold and ceramic fillings are the most expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can silver amalgam fillings.
- Your condition: Large cavities require strong and durable fillings such as ceramic.
If you’re not sure what filling material is suitable for you, your dentist will help you choose based on your condition, budget, and needs. Are you looking for professional dentists who do fillings? Contact daily DENTAL & bracesbar for more information.