3 Different Types of Dental Fillings

Dentists near you reveal the pros and cons and different types of dental fillings

A dental filling is a synthetic substance that is placed in dental cavities. A cavity occurs when some portion of the tooth gets eroded and a gap is left in its place. To seal this gap, dentists place fillings. Fillings are also used for repairing teeth that have been cracked, broken, or worn down due to misuse or injury. Listed below are the different types of dental fillings, their pros and cons, and their suitability for different situations.

Cast Gold Fillings

These fillings are made from an amalgamation of gold and other metals such as silver and copper. They offer the following advantages:

  • They are durable and will last you anytime between 10 to 15 years. Cast gold does not corrode.
  • They don’t break or chip and are remarkably strong. These fillings can withstand chewing force.
  • Some people opt for god filling because of their aesthetic value.

Their disadvantages are as follows:

  • Cast gold fillings are 10 times costlier than silver amalgam fillings.
  • For placement of these fillings, 2-3 recurrent dental visits are required.
  • Gold is a good conductor of electricity. If the gold filling is placed adjacent to a silver filling, there is the possibility of an electric current running between the two metals, causing a sharp pain also known as galvanic shock.

Silver Fillings (Amalgams)

Amalgam fillings are a combination of silver, mercury, copper, tin, and zinc. They are known as silver fillings because of their silver appearance. Mercury is the highest contributing metal in these fillings. Their advantages are as follows:

  • They are durable and usually last 10 to 15 years. They are more durable compared to composite fillings.
  • They can withstand chewing forces and are quite strong.
  • They are less expensive than gold and composite fillings.

However, amalgam fillings have the following downside:

  • types of dental fillingsThey don’t blend in with the natural color of the teeth and stand out.
  • To fit in these fillings, the healthy part of the tooth has to be scraped out.
  • They can oxidize the adjacent teeth, casting a greyish hue.
  • Amalgam fillings are temperature sensitive and they contract and expand when hot or cold beverages are consumed. These movements can lead to the cracking of teeth and the appearance of fractures.
  • Some people may be allergic to the mercury content in the teeth.

Tooth-colored Composites

These fillings are made of acrylic resin which is a type of plastic. Acrylic resin is reinforced with quartz, silica, or ceramic particles to form tooth-colored composite fillings. Their advantages are as follows:

  • The color of the composite fillings matches the color of natural teeth. These fillings blend in well and don’t stand out. They are ideal for front teeth or visible parts of the teeth.
  • They micro-mechanically adhere to tooth structure which leads to a strong bond between the tooth and the filling.
  • These filings are also used for repairing chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
  • Less tooth material needs to be removed when placing these fillings.

The disadvantages of composite fillings are:

  • They are not as durable as gold or amalgam fillings and usually wear off in 5 years.
  • Composite fillings cannot sustain high biting pressure, especially for large cavities.
  • The insertion process for these fillings is longer than amalgam fillings.
  • They are more expensive than amalgam fillings.

For more information on different fillings and their application procedure contact our expert dentists at Icon Dental Center. We offer services in Everett, Seattle, and nearby areas. To book an appointment, call us at 206-225-2882.

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