A filling is one of the most conservative and non-invasive ways to restore a fractured or chipped tooth. At JP Dental & Implant Center, Dr. John P. Poovey or Dr. Wilcox will first remove the decay from your tooth, clean and disinfect the cavity, and then fill it with any one of the varieties of filling material.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of Filling Material
All fillings come with their pros and cons. No single filling material is perfect for everyone. Some of the most common types of fillings are:
GoldGold fillings are made in a dental lab and then fitted onto the teeth. This material is hypoallergenic and does not irritate your gum. Gold fillings are very durable and can last for 20 years, and in some cases, even more. Since these fillings are extremely strong, they can withstand a huge amount of chewing force and hence, are used to repair the back teeth.
However, gold fillings are also the most expensive kind of fillings and their cost can be 10 times higher than amalgam fillings. Additionally, gold fillings set next or opposite to an amalgam filled tooth can lead to galvanic shock. However, this is quite rare. Some people also dislike gold-colored fillings and prefer the restoration work to match their teeth.
Silver AmalgamAmalgam fillings are made from a mixture of silver and base metals. These are the most popular type of fillings for molar and premolar teeth. Since the filling is metallic, it is very durable and can last for over 15 years, if proper care is taken. One of their biggest advantages is that they are very affordable.
Like gold, however, silver fillings may not look aesthetically pleasing, and so people prefer to have them placed on their back teeth. They also require removing healthy part of the tooth as silver fillings require more space than gold fillings. The amalgam material may also contract and expand when it comes in contact with hot and cold food that can lead to a higher risk of tooth fracture. About 1 percent of the population is also allergic to mercury in the amalgam.
CompositeComposite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. This material can be matched to the color of your natural tooth and is quite aesthetic. Therefore, people prefer composite resin fillings on their front teeth. The resinous material also bonds tightly to the tooth giving the structure more strength. Composite resin sometimes requires less amount of tooth structure to be removed as compared to amalgam.
Composite fillings may not be the best material for teeth which are subject to high pressure as they are prone to chipping over time. They are also less stain-resistant and cola, coffee, tea, and tobacco can discolor them. They also only last from three to 10 years.
PorcelainPorcelain fillings are indirect fillings that are preformed in dental labs and cemented to your teeth. Porcelain is the most natural-looking filling material and has better stain-resistant qualities than composite resin. Porcelain fillings can last for 15 years. However, their cost is almost as much as gold fillings.
Problems Associated With Dental Fillings
It is extremely rare for serious complications to occur after a properly done filling. Some common problems are:
If you experience tooth pain or sensitivity, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Call us immediately at (970) 822-7622 so that we identify the issue and fix it in its early stages.