Whether you have a new cavity or your dentist has told you that your old filling has worn out and you need another, you may be confused as to which type to try next. Your dentist should go over the various types of fillings and the pros and cons of each. In a nutshell, a filling is what you get when your dentist removes the decayed portion of your tooth and fills the area with some type of material. The patient is typically given a choice as to which type of filling to use.
Here are the different kinds and the benefits to each :
- Durable: Able to last up to 15 years, won’t corrode.
- Strong: Can withstand heavy chewing forces.
- Aesthetics: Many people prefer the look of gold to silver amalgam.
- Expensive: Costs up to 10 times higher than silver.
- Requires two or more office visits to place.
- Galvanic shock: When a gold filling is placed near a silver one, this can cause a sharp pain due to the interaction of metal and saliva.
- Durable: Can last up to 15 years.
- Strong: Can withstand chewing forces.
- Less expensive than composite fillings.
- Aesthetics: Silver sticks out and doesn’t match the natural color of your teeth.
- Healthy parts of the tooth have to be removed to ensure a space large enough to hold the filling.
- Discoloration: Can create a grayish tint to the surrounding tooth structure over time.
- Cracks: Amalgam material is more prone to contraction and expansion, which can lead to fractures.
- Allergic reactions: About one percent of people are allergic to the mercury in silver.
- The shade of the filling can be matched to the existing teeth.
- They chemically bond to the tooth structure for better support.
- Can be used to fix chipped, worn, or broken teeth.
- Less of the tooth structure must be removed to make way for the filling than silver.
- Don’t last as long as other types, usually only up to five years.
- The process takes 20 minutes longer to put in place.
- Chipping can occur.
- They cost more than twice that of amalgam fillings.
Which filling type is right for you? This will depend on the location of the decay, how bad it is, cost of the material, what your insurance covers, and your dentist’s suggestion. To find out more, call Redwood Dental now at 800-462-2222.