Throughout a lifetime, pretty much everyone needs to have a tooth filled. When getting fillings, there are options to consider. Filling teeth is one of the most routine procedures for dentists, and it is not uncommon for us to assume a patient knows all the options. A dentist often will simply proceed with using their filling material of choice, especially in cases where the patient has had multiple fillings in the past.
To help you understand all your options, we have listed them here. Please keep in mind, not all options are suitable for every case, and final decisions should only be made after consultation with your dentist. So if you have any questions about your next filling, contact us, because we can help.
Nowadays Resin (white filling) is usually the filling of choice. This filling can blend in with natural tooth look and structure, and works well when cosmetics are of concern. In addition to the cosmetic benefit, this filling also bonds to the surrounding tooth structure and help restore some of the strength that was lost
from the cavity they are fixing.
The biggest disadvantage with this type of filling material is the vulnerability of its bond to attacks from acid. It is extra important to keep your teeth clean and free of bacteria (bacteria metabolizes food in your mouth to produce acid). Variations in this type of filling have been developed, which incorporate glass components that will store and release minerals like fluoride that help protect the bond from acid attacks.
This silver coloured filling is a combination of various metals, including mercury. This filling gives teeth great strength to withstand chewing forces, and has been a standard in filling durability for decades.
Although this material has been around a long time, and modified to better bind its mercury component, many countries have started to ban the use of this material, and at My Family Dentist, we have decided to do the same.
Despite the strength of amalgam filling, it does not bond to the surrounding tooth structure. This can cause the surrounding tooth structure to become severely compromised, and can result in a tooth fracture. In some cases, when a fracture occurs, the tooth can still be fixed, but may require extensive work. In other cases, the tooth can break in such a way that it cannot be saved.
Amalgam Vs White Filling
Major differences between these types of filling are:
Gold and Porcelain
The above options are types of fillings placed directly into the tooth. As an alternative, there are fillings that are fabricated outside the mouth, and then cemented into place, similar to onlays and crowns. These fillings are very strong, durable, and can last a long time. Although gold filling is more durable, the porcelain filling is more cosmetically pleasing. Although these are high quality filling, many people opt away from them due to the higher cost. Insurance coverage is usually less for these type of filling.