There are many different types of dental fillings and each is made of different materials. Depending on what your dental restoration needs are, your dentist may choose to use one over the other. Explore the different materials used for dental fillings and why they would be used.
Types of Dental Fillings
Some dental filling options are more widely used than others for several reasons. Here are the most commonly used dental fillings and their makeup.
Composite “White” Fillings
Composite resin fillings are tooth colored and are the most popular used fillings. The material used is a mix of glass and hard plastics that harden under UV light. Your dentist can also color-match the material to give your tooth a very natural look.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- They bond to the teeth micro-mechanically
- It can also be used to fill in cracks and small imperfections
- Less tooth structure needs to be removed
- They can be more expensive than metal fillings
- They can be less durable and need replacement more often
Metal “SIlver” Fillings
Metal Fillings used to be the norm when it came to filling cavities years ago and are also known as amalgam fillings. The metals used in metal fillings are a combination of silver, copper, tin, and zinc. These fillings do contain small amounts of mercury but have been deemed safe by the American Dental Association.
- Durability – these fillings may outlast composite fillings and need to be replaced less often
- They are the least expensive option
- They can withstand are durable
- Aesthetically unpleasing
- Amalgam fillings can cause discoloration of the tooth
- Higher risk of fracture of remaining tooth structure
- They can cause an allergic reaction to mercury
Gold fillings are made up of just that, gold. They differ from metal and composite fillings because they require a mold to be made of the tooth before being placed. These fillings usually require more than one dental appointment due to the process.
- They are durable
- They don’t corrode
- They are strong and withstand bite force
- Require more than one dental visit
- They are more expensive than other fillings
- On rare occurrences, if placed next to an amalgam fillings can cause Galvanic shock
Ask a Dentist About Which Dental Filling is Right For You
If your dentist has performed an exam and found cavities in your teeth you may need dental fillings to restore the decay. A dentist at Lakeview Dental Care can help you understand which dental filling option is best for you. Schedule an appointment today!