With the advancement in modern dentistry, now we have many more options available than ever before. Which filling material is the best for you? This is a common question which we have to answer at the dentist’s office.
Your dentist is indeed the best person to let you know which material suits your unique condition and needs. However, we will help you understand each material and its pros and cons. This will equip you with the necessary information about tooth-filling materials. So you can make an informed decision at the dental clinic.
There are lots of materials that you have to choose from. But before your appointment, read our guide to understand each of them.
Fillings That Look Similar To Your Natural Teeth
Composite fillings look just like your natural teeth. This is why they are the most widely used filling material available today. Composite fillings are made of quartz or glass in resin. This material is often used when the size of the patient’s cavity is either small or medium. This type of material is also best for people who are frightened of invasive dental work since it is just bonded in place with less drilling.
Pros: Dentists can color match composite filling with your natural teeth. In other words, composite fillings can look just like your natural teeth.
Cons: Composite teeth fillings can discolor gradually, just like your original teeth.
Fillings That Prevent Decay And Release Fluoride
Glass ionomer tooth filling is the newer and less commonly used option. They are made of fine glass powders and acrylic acids. Dentists generally use this filling material below the gum-line and on surfaces that don’t do a lot of chewing. Glass ionomer dental filling releases a small amount of fluoride.
Pros: This type of material releases fluoride that strengthens the surrounding teeth and prevents tooth decay.
Cons: They can break. So dentists don’t use them on surfaces that require a lot of chewing. Moreover, this type of material is relatively more expensive than its counterparts.
Affordable And Long-Lasting Fillings
Dentists have been using amalgam dental filling for more than a century. These fillings can be made of silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Your dentist may use amalgam filling if you have a cavity on the back of your teeth.
Pros: This type of filling material is long-lasting and affordable as compared to other types. Amalgam filling provides strength. And so, they are generally used for the back molar’s cavity. Because they stand up well to wear and tear.
Cons: Amalgam filling is silver in color. So it isn’t aesthetically pleasing at all. Moreover, you may feel teeth sensitivity for some time after getting amalgam filling.
Note: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “The best available scientific evidence supports the conclusion that patients with dental amalgam fillings are not at risk for mercury-associated adverse health effects.”
Gold Inlays, Crowns, and Bridges
Gold fillings are made of gold, mixed with other metals. Dentists used them for crowns, fixed bridges, and inlays.
Pros: The most significant advantage of gold filling is its strength and durability. They can last for decades and aren’t likely going down with wear and tear easily.
Cons: They can’t be a color match like your natural teeth. Also, they are much more expensive than other types of filling materials.
Which Dental Filling Material Is Best For Me?
The best filling material for you is the one your dentist suggests you. They will help you make an informed decision based on your dental history, overall health, and dental goals. So make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for dental checkups and exams. This way, your dentist can examine your dental condition and look for early signs of decay. Treating a more minor decay is far easier and affordable than treating it when your condition worsens.