What’s in Your Dental Filling?
Let’s look at the available dental fillings being used today by dentists. Knowing what they are, what they contain, and knowing their benefits can help you make informed choices.
You must have seen gold fillings before. Gold cast filling lasts from 10 to 15 years, even longer if you take very good care of them. Gold doesn’t corrode and has a high level of durability and strength, withstanding chewing and grinding pressures well.
Gold, however, is quite expensive, very noticeable, and out of date today. The filling is almost no longer used in restoration.
Silver amalgam fillings are as durable, strong as gold; able to handle the stresses of chewing extremely well. They last as long as gold and even longer than tooth-colored fillings. It is also one of the most affordable for strong fillings.
However, amalgam restorations are obvious in the mouth; it requires more tooth drilling and removal of normal tooth structure to accommodate it in a prepared cavity. Under extreme changes of temperature, the filling can also crack and break. And then there are also concerns with its mercury content, however minute.
Tooth-colored composites are naturally more pleasing having the same color as natural teeth. They are favored for the anteriors. They bond well with tooth structure and are useful to repair chipped or broken teeth. Compared to amalgam, composites do not last as long, typically 5 years, and are more expensive because tooth preparation takes longer to do and requires skill and experience.
Then there are ceramic fillings made of porcelain. They resist staining and last longer than composites, like up to 15 to 17 years, hence, making them fairly expensive. Glass ionomer fillings are favored for cavities below the gumline and for pediatric use because of its fluoride content. However, they need replacement every five years, not being as resistant to stresses.
Not just Your Dentist’s Recommendations
So what’s your filling going to be? Better know more from your Bellingham dentist. A host of factors need consideration, like how damaged are the teeth involved, allergy to certain materials, budget, and best long term advantage for you.