What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Dental Fillings?

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Dental fillings are used to fill in the gaps left in the teeth after the removal of cavities. These fillings substitute the part of tooth material that is lost due to dental decay. They prevent further dental decay and assist the person in chewing food in a normal fashion. Nowadays, different types and materials of dental fillings are available. If you have a dental cleaning session planned out soon, it is important to know what choices for dental fillings are available to you.

A dental filling is usually required when some part of the tooth has been damaged due to decay and needs to be removed. Once the decay is removed using laser or dental drills, it is cleaned and filled with medicine. The space left due to the removed tooth material is filled with the appropriate dental filling. It takes a couple of hours to adjust to the new filling. Let us take a look at the different types of dental fillings and their advantages and disadvantages.

Cast gold

This is a commonly used material for dental fillings. It offers the following benefits:

  • It doesn’t corrode and usually lasts for 10 to 15 years.
  • It is a tough material that doesn’t crack due to biting action
  • Cast gold fillings make a fashion statement.

On the flip side, they have the following disadvantages:

  • They are quite expensive. Their cost is 10 times higher than that of amalgam fillings.
  • They are high maintenance and would require a few extra dental visits.
  • They cannot be placed side to side with silver or amalgam fillings. Sharp pain is caused when different metals interact with one another inside the mouth.

Silver-fillings (Amalgams)

Silver is another metal that is often used for dental fillings due to the following benefits it offers:

  • It has a life span of 10 to 15 years and is quite durable.
  • Like gold, it too does not get damaged due to the biting action.
  • It is cheaper than gold and composite fillings.

Silver fillings have the following shortcomings as well so choose wisely:

  • The filling stands out as it does not blend in well with the natural teeth. It is aesthetically unpleasant.
  • The size of a silver filling is a quite large and often healthy portion of the tooth has to be removed to make room for the filling to fit in.
  • These fillings can chip away the color of the adjacent teeth leaving them with an ugly grayish color.

Tooth-colored Composite Fillings

These fillings are made of resin material. They are quite popular because they offer the following advantages:

  • They are the most natural-looking fillings and they don’t stand out. They are manufactured in a way that they match the color of the existing teeth. This makes them a suitable option for placement at front teeth.
  • Composite fillings bond chemically to teeth structure. The adhesion is quite strong between the teeth and the filling, which reduces the probability of the filling falling out.
  • This filling material is also used for repairing broken or chipped teeth, other than using it as filling for dental decay.
  • Composite fillings are malleable and can adjust according to the shape of the cavity. Hence, less tooth material has to be removed for these to fit in.

Along with their multiple advantages, they have the following limitations:

  • These fillings don’t last as long as gold and silver. They usually wear out at 5 years mark. They are also less durable and may break due to excessive biting force.
  • They are twice as expensive as silver amalgam fillings.

This information is brought to you by Icon Dental Center. They offer dental services in Seattle and Everett.

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