Dental fillings are combinations of metals, plastics, or other materials like glass used to repair and restore teeth. Mainly, dental fillings are used to fill the teeth that have been damaged due to cavities or decay. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth. The filling materials used in the process include porcelain, silver, and gold amalgam (contains mercury mixed with zinc, silver, copper, and tin). Moreover, there are tooth-colored glass and plastic materials called composite resin fillings.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Filling Materials
First and foremost are gold fillings. They last at least 10 to 15 years and have a pleasant appearance. Silver fillings also last for a period of 10 to 15 years and are less expensive when compared to composite fillings.
There are also ceramic fillings that last for more than 15 years and are more resistant to staining than composite resin. Glass ionomers are also used as fillings, especially for the fillings below the gum line. They release fluoride that can help protect from further tooth decay.
When it comes to cost, gold is the most expensive type of filling and may require more than one dental visit to place. Silver, on the other hand, may require more space, leading to the reduction of teeth to create space to hold the filling. It also creates a graying hue to the surrounding tooth structure and may have a higher risk of tooth cracks and fractures because they expand and contract to a wider degree. They can also cost up to twice as much as amalgams and take more time to place. Lastly, glass ionomer is weaker than composite resin and is prone to fractures.
For more information about fillings and the options for filling materials, visit our offices today.
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