The Different Types Of Fillings

September 18, 2022

Dental fillings are a way to restore teeth that have been damaged by cavities or other problems. There are several different types of dental fillings available, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. This post will look at the different types of fillings and discuss which ones might be right for you. 

But first, here is why you may need dental fillings:

Why you may need dental fillings

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities. Cavities are holes in your teeth that are caused by tooth decay. When you have a cavity, it is important to get it filled so that the decay does not spread and cause further damage to your tooth. 

What steps are involved in filling a tooth?

The first step is to remove the decay from your tooth. This is done with a drill. Once the decay has been removed, the next step is to fill the cavity with a filling material. There are several different types of filling materials available, and your dentist will help you choose the right one for your needs. 

Types of fillings:

  • Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver amalgam fillings are made from a mix of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They have been used for more than 150 years and are one of the most common types of fillings. The main advantage of silver amalgam fillings is that they are strong and durable and can last for 10 to 15 years or longer. They are also less expensive than other types of fillings. 

However, silver amalgam fillings are not as esthetically pleasing as other options. They can also cause cracks in teeth over time. And because they contain mercury, there is some concern about potential health risks associated with them. 

  • Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. They are also known as tooth-colored fillings, because they can be matched to the color of your teeth. They are a good choice for small cavities and for repairing chips or cracks in teeth. 

The main advantage of composite fillings is that they are less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings. However, they are not as durable and may need to be replaced more often. They are also more expensive than silver amalgam fillings. 

  • Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are a good choice for people with allergies to other materials. They are also esthetically pleasing and durable but have a high price tag. A gold filling can last more than 20 years and are not as likely to cause cracking or other damage to the teeth. 

However, the main drawback of gold fillings is that they require two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared, and an impression is made. This impression is used to create a custom gold filling that will be placed during the second visit. 

  • Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain and are matched to the color of your teeth. They are a good choice for people who have allergies to metals. Ceramic fillings are strong and durable, and they resist staining. They are also less likely to cause irritation to the gums.

The main drawback of ceramic fillings is that they are more expensive than other options. They also require more time to place, which means more time in the dental chair. 

  • Glass Ionomer Fillings

This type of filling is made of a mix of glass and plastic resin that is combined with fluoride. It bonds well to the tooth structure and can be used on both the root and visible surfaces of teeth. Aesthetically, they are tooth-colored, so they blend in well with natural teeth.

Glass ionomer fillings are also used as a sealant to prevent cavities. This is because they release fluoride, which can help prevent cavities. They can also be used to treat sensitive teeth. 

However, the material does not last as long as other types of fillings, and it may need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. The bond between the filling and tooth may also weaken over time, which can cause the filling to fall out or break off. 

Which type of filling is right for you?

The best type of filling for you will depend on several factors, including the location of the cavity, the severity of the cavity, your budget, and your preferences. Your dentist can help you decide which type of filling is right for you. 

Are fillings worth it?

Fillings are a common dental procedure, and they are usually covered by dental insurance. If you have a cavity, getting a filling can help prevent further decay and damage to your tooth. It is important to visit your dentist regularly so cavities can be caught early and treated before they become more serious. 

And while fillings are not permanent, they can last for many years with proper care. Just be sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. If you have a cavity, do not wait to get it filled. Contact your dentist today to schedule an appointment.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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