All About Dental Fillings: The Pros and Cons

Understanding Different Fillings

Why do dentists want to fill cavities before they get too large? That is because the remaining option is just too daunting – either a more invasive procedure be done to save the affected tooth – root canal treatment – or the tooth is lost to extraction.

We know that dental fillings are one of the pillars of restorative dentistry. Dental materials are used to restore a tooth, so that, when reconstructed, the affected tooth returns to its normal shape and form and is functional again. It can ward off bacterial entry and prevent further decay.

There are several types of filling materials in a dentist’s armamentarium. Dentists usually consider the size of the repair, the location of the tooth and the cost before recommending what they feel is the best material. Here are some of the choices frequently used, and why

Amalgam (silver) fillings are one of the oldest used materials, being a mix of various metals. Amalgam is strong, highly resistant to wear of heavy chewing forces, can last a long time, and is less expensive than others. Allergic reactions are rare, the material is very safe and poses no health risks. The only thing is, being darker than natural teeth color, amalgam is noticeable and so are better used on molars only.

Gold fillings are called “inlays,” and are laboratory-made. Gold is often considered the best filling material because it is strong and durable, and can last a significant amount of time. However, this is the most expensive option of all available materials, and is as noticeable also.

Porcelain fillings are also laboratory-made. They match the color of teeth closely and is more resistant to staining than composites. They also last a long time. However, the price of a porcelain filling is typically similar to the price of a gold inlay; they are also expensive.

Composite resins are an ideal choice for fillings in the front teeth as they can perfectly match the color of the tooth. They are quite popular in spite of them being less durable than amalgam, more expensive than amalgam, and that they stain easily. They are also not suited for large cavities. They may not last as long as others, but can last 10 years with good care.

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Knowing What Suits You in Downtown Seattle

The best dental filling for you is the one that suits your unique requirements. When you have a cavity that needs a dental filling, drop by your Downtown Seattle clinic for a consultation and your best filling option.