How to Choose Dental Filling Material

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Tooth decay and cavities is a familiar problem to many people. It is especially important to treat these problems as soon as possible. If cavities are not treated in time, they can lead to serious root canal infections, abscesses, and even tooth loss. It is best to visit your dentist regularly—every 6 months—to have professional cleanings and checkups. This will help prevent tooth decay or treat it in a timely manner before it causes any more serious problems. Below, we cover hot to choose a dental filling material.

How to Choose Dental Filling Material

Fillings are the usual treatment for cavities caused by tooth decay. The procedure of getting fillings is not very complicated. First, the decayed part of the tooth is removed, and then this place is filled with special dental filling material. There are several different types of fillings, and here we put together a guide on how to choose dental filling material.

Types of Dental Filling Materials

Usually, your dentist will assess the situation and recommend material options for your dental fillings. These options can include:

  • Ceramic
  • Composite
  • Gold
  • Silver amalgam
  • Glass ionomers

All these materials can be successfully used for dental fillings. However, some materials are better suited for certain situations. Such factors as current dental health, the location and severity of the cavity, and the budget of the patient can influence the choice.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic material, also known as porcelain, is a great option for dental fillings. The big advantage of this material is that it can be color-matched to your natural teeth. It is also a stain-resistant material. Ceramic feelings can last for quite a long time—about 15 years or more. The disadvantage of this aesthetic and durable dental filling option is that it is usually more expensive than other options, such as silver amalgam and composite.

Composite Fillings

Now, composite resin is a very popular material for dental fillings, especially for treating the front teeth. The reason for this is that, similarly to ceramic fillings, composite fillings can be color-matched to your teeth. Unfortunately, composite fillings are not as durable and long-lasting as ceramic or silver amalgam fillings. They might wear out in about 5 years.

Gold Fillings

A more durable option is gold fillings. This material is non-corrosive and quite strong. Gold fillings tend to last for about 15 years if cared for properly. Of course, the downside of gold fillings is that they can be quite noticeable in your mouth. That is why they are now not very popular for treating front teeth or any other teeth that are visible when you speak. Gold fillings are also a more expensive option than silver amalgam fillings. Sometimes, more than one visit to a dentist is required to fit gold fillings properly.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

This is also a very strong, long-lasting, and durable option for filling the cavities. This material is made of a combination of silver, mercury, zink, tin, and copper. There are some concerns associated with mercury being a part of the mix. There are studies that show that mercury can be a cause for some health issues. This is the reason why some people choose to opt out of silver amalgam fillings.

Another drawback of silver amalgam fillings is that they might contract or expand with time and cause some damage to the tooth.

This being said, silver amalgam still remains a very popular material for dental fillings due to its durability and comparatively low price.

Glass Ionomers or Acrylic Fillings

Acrylic fillings are a more common choice for children rather than for adults. This is because their lifespan tends to be quite short—sometimes less than 5 years. Children’s teeth are changing and do not require a very long-lasting filling solution.

Glass Ionomers can also be used for small cavities along the gum line, not on the chewing surface of the tooth. This type of material is usually not very expensive. The price might range from $75 to $200 per filling.

If you have teeth-related concerns such as temperature sensitivity, pain, or unpleasant smell, these might mean that you have cavities and need to get dental fillings. Sign up for a visit with one of our specialists at Alta Dental Care and get a full mouth checkup. The sooner you treat the cavities, the less discomfort you will have in the future. Our dentists will help you choose the most appropriate material for dental fillings in your particular case.