Which Dental Fillings? A Guide To Choosing The Right Type

Before getting a dental filling, you should know which dental fillings are best for you

Fillings are a dental restorative procedure used for repairing decayed, cracked, broken, or worn-down teeth. After cleaning out the decayed part of the tooth, the cavity or hole is filled with a specific type of dental filling. You may not have an option to choose the type of filling you desire, but knowing about each type is helpful before you go for the treatment.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

  • This widely used filling contains a mixture of minerals, including 50 percent silver, tin, zinc, copper, and 50 percent mercury. Its strength and durability make it a popular choice. In addition, silver amalgam filling does not cost a lot. It can last for up to 12 years or more. It is filled quite quickly into a cavity, and blood or saliva contains no contamination risks.

On the downside, silver amalgam is not very aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, it is not the ideal choice of filling for visible teeth. Silver amalgam filling may cause the surrounding tooth structure to appear greyish. Moreover, the material responds to temperature changes by contracting and expanding. This increases the risk of cracks.

Composite Fillings

  • Made from plastic and resin material, composite fillings are filled inside the tooth while the filling is soft. The filling is then hardened with the help of a bright curing light. Composite fillings can be customized to match the color of the patient’s teeth. This makes composite fillings ideal for patients concerned about their teeth’ aesthetics. However, composite fillings do not last as long as silver amalgam fillings and must be replaced after 5 to 10 years.

Ceramic Fillings

  • Ceramic fillings are made using porcelain material, making them durable and aesthetically appealing. Although more expensive than other types, ceramic fillings resist staining and abrasion better than composite fillings. Ceramic fillings are brittle as compared to composite fillings, so they have to be used on larger cavities to prevent breakage. For this reason, the affected area of the tooth is made larger to allow enough room for the extra bulk of filling. Ceramic restorations are also referred to as inlays and onlays.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

  • Glass ionomer fillings are created with a mix of glass and acrylic. They are commonly used for children whose teeth are still changing. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride into the tooth to prevent further decay. They are weaker than composite resin and last only for a few years. They crack or wear out as time goes by. Unlike composite resin, they are not natural looking and do not match the tooth color.

Gold Fillings

  • which dental fillingsThese are one of the most expensive types of dental fillings, but they are less commonly used. Finding a dentist who uses gold fillings for dental restoration is usually challenging. The durability of gold filling is matchless. They can last up to 15 years without rusting. It requires more than one session to fit a gold filling properly.

They are strong enough to withstand chewing forces without being damaged. Some patients find gold fillings more attractive than silver amalgam fillings. Gold cast fillings cost much more than other types of dental fillings. As compared to silver amalgam fillings, gold fillings cost 10 times higher.

If you are suffering from tooth decay, contact Icon Dental Center and restore your tooth to its natural state. Our expert dentists will determine the most suitable type of dental fillings after assessing the type and severity of the damage. For more information, call us at 206-225-2882 for Seattle and 425-337-2400 for the Everett appointment.

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