Which Dental Filling Should You Choose?

Which Dental Filling Should You Choose?Dental fillings are one of the most popular methods to repair and restore teeth from issues like cavities. They can also be used to repair broken teeth or teeth worn down from nail-biting, tooth-grinding, etc.

To restore a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill the area where the decayed material was extracted.

Most commonly, five types of materials are used for dental fillings.

  1. Composite Fillings

As the name suggests, composite resin fillings are made of a mixture of materials; plastic and glass powder. This mixture is put into the tooth in putty form and is hardened by a specialized LED light, also known as ‘curing light.’

Composite fillings are a popular choice because of being tooth-colored. They are the easiest to blend in with the appearance of natural teeth and hence most aesthetically pleasing. These fillings are used for both the front and back teeth and can be used for cavities, filling gaps, and correcting cosmetic issues.

Composite fillings go through a small amount of shrinkage after they harden and are susceptible to future decay if poorly maintained. They usually need to be replaced every five to ten years.

Although, they are more expensive than amalgam fillings and are comparatively weaker. But they require lesser tooth structure to be removed than silver amalgam fillings.

  1. Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain. They can also match the color of your teeth and are more durable than composite fillings. These fillings are used for inlays, onlays, implants,  crowns, and veneers.

Ceramic fillings tend to last longer than composite and amalgam fillings and are hence costlier and a little more time-consuming to finish. They are more resistant to staining and abrasion than some other types of fillings.

Although they are tooth-colored, they need to be bigger to prevent them from breaking. The procedure is slightly different from other ones since empty space needs to be enlarged to make room for the filling.

  1. Amalgam Fillings

Although they’re thought of as silver fillings, amalgam fillings are actually made of a mixture of fifty percent silver, tin, copper, and a small amount of mercury. The mercury in it usually raises concerns, but the amount used is completely safe to be used as a filling. Mercury also becomes more stable and hence safer when mixed with other materials, keeping it from escaping from the filling.

If you’re looking for fillings that blend in, these are definitely not the ones for you. They are very noticeable and even tend to get darker over time. They can also cause cracked teeth that can cause problems years after being put in.

  1. Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are made of acrylic and a component of glass called fluoro aluminosilicate. They are most commonly used for young children since their teeth are still undergoing significant changes. They release fluoride, which can also help protect teeth from further decay, making them a great option for those who get cavities often, like children.

These fillings are dull and do not reflect light, making them slightly less aesthetically pleasing than other ones like composite fillings. They are also weaker than other fillings and can wear down or crack from too much chewing force, limiting their life span to about just five years.

  1. Gold Fillings

Gold dental fillings are expensive and hence not very common for that reason. They are made of an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals. These are a lot more durable than other types of fillings, like glass ionomer fillings, and can withstand a lot of chewing force.

Since gold does not corrode, these types of fillings last longer and do not stain teeth. They can last for about twenty years. They can also require more than one dental visit since after an impression has been taken, the filling needs to be prepared in a laboratory accordingly.

Which is the best option for you?

Your choice of dental fillings can depend on your budget, your personal aesthetic choices, and a lot more.

If you want tooth-colored fillings that look like your teeth and blend in, composite or ceramic fillings could be the best choice for you. Your dentist might also suggest composite dental fillings if there is a lot of chewing force.

If you are looking for fillings that release fluoride and further protect your teeth from damage, you could go for glass ionomer fillings. They can be colored to blend with nearby teeth and help prevent further decay. This also makes them a great option for children.

Amalgam fillings could be a good option for you if you’re looking for affordable, long-lasting fillings, crowns, fixed bridges, etc. These dental fillings are a combination of silver, tin, copper, and mercury and are pretty inexpensive, too.

Even though these above-mentioned dental fillings are common practice now, the best way to go is still prevention and avoidance of the need for repair. Following good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups can go a long way.

At TruCare Dentistry, we offer a wide array of dental fillings and treatments for cavities. If you need emergency dental care in Roswell, GA, or nearby areas such as Sandy Springs, Marietta, Milton, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, or Woodstock, call (678) 321-7575 or visit our website to book an appointment.