What Are the Types of Dental Fillings?

October 30, 2020

Teeth with different dental filling typesIf you have a cavity or cracked teeth, you’ll be scheduled for a dental filling. That’s when your Mile High dentist removes the decayed or missing part of the tooth then fills in that area with a special filling material. There are a few different options when it comes to tooth filling material that you and your dentist will discuss.

Types of Dental Filling Material

Many types of tooth fillings exist, like composite, porcelain, glass, and metal. They all vary in durability and color.

Gold

For those looking for an extremely durable filling material but don’t like the look of silver, gold is a great option. Though gold is expensive, this type of filling can last upwards of 15 years compared to other filling materials.

Amalgam (Silver)

The most common, silver fillings have been around for over a hundred years. This type of filling is very strong, making it ideal for molars in the back of the mouth that are used for chewing. While they are the least expensive filling material, they are quite noticeable since they’re made from a combination of metals.

Composite

This type of filling is made from glass or quartz to match the color of natural teeth. While sturdy, these fillings are best for small-to-midsize restorations in teeth that don’t see as much chewing as molars.

Ceramic

Made of tooth-colored porcelain, ceramic fillings are slightly more resistant to staining compared to composites. However, their cost can be 10 times more expensive than silver.

Glass Ionomer

This type of filling is made from a combination of acrylic and glass and releases fluoride to further protect teeth. While glass ionomer fillings help maintain oral hygiene, they are less durable and need to be replaced every few years.

Should You Replace Silver Fillings?

Amalgam is great for filling large cavities in the back teeth because it’s durable and lasts a long time. However, more and more people worry about putting metal in their bodies so they might start to rethink their metal fillings, preferring composite material instead.

There might be some other reasons you want to replace amalgam fillings with composite.

Loose Filling

After a while, silver fillings can come loose which invites bacteria into the extra space, causing infection. Composite fillings bond directly to teeth, making them stronger with limited risk of loosening.

Allergy

If you have metal sensitivities or allergies, silver fillings might not be a great choice. They’re made from tin, mercury, and silver which can cause an allergic reaction, though very rare.

Temperature Sensitivity

Metal expands and contracts naturally with temperature changes. Since amalgam fillings have about 50% mercury, the same mercury in thermometers, they’re going to react. For example, eating ice cream will cause the filling to contract while eating hot soup will cause it to expand. Over time, this constant fluctuation can weaken teeth.

Looks

Silver fillings are noticeable in the teeth because of their darker coloring. If you’re uncomfortable smiling because of the way your teeth look with these fillings, replacing them is a great option. Composite fillings are tooth-colored and unnoticeable to the naked eye.

Best Tooth Filling Material

What is the best material for dental fillings? That depends on what your Mile High dentist thinks is suitable for you. Your oral health, history, and smile goals are taken into consideration. Also, your budget and dental insurance make a big difference in your dental filling material options.

If you have any questions about dental fillings or would like to schedule your free consultation, contact us today!


Posted In: Cosmetic Dentistry