Which Material is Best for Your Dental Filling?

Jul 17, 2013

Getting a filling can be a headache — and we’re not even talking about the procedure itself. Between dealing with insurance and costs and scheduling around work or school, there’s little time to make other considerations. So, when your dentist asks you what material you’d like to use for you filling, how are you supposed to know what the difference is? Well, if you’re looking to find out the benefits and consequences of each material, you’re in the right place.

 

Dental Filling Materials

  • Amalgam — Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are known for their grayish hue and durability. Perhaps more importantly, they are well-known for the controversy they cause for some dental professionals. This is because amalgam fillings are 50% mercury. Initially pioneered in the days before mercury was known for its toxicity, amalgam fillings have become less prevalent but still existent. If you choose an amalgam filling be aware of their mercury content. Again, amalgam is durable often lasting ten to fifteen years, but has a color that doesn’t blend well with teeth. It can also require a lot of room to fill.

  • Cast Gold — Cast gold — like Amalgam — are very durable in their composition. The lifetime of a cast gold filling can be fifteen years or more. Similarly, they have a “metal” appearance, which can be a pro or a con, with some people finding the appearance of cast gold superior to amalgam, but others finding it sticks out too much. Although they experience long lifetimes and some people find their appearance appealing, cast gold fillings frequently require multiple visits to the dentist for implementation. Furthermore, cast gold fillings are expensive — occasionally causing up to ten times more than amalgam fillings.

  • Tooth-Colored Composites — The significant benefit of tooth-colored composites is that they blend in well with the surrounding tooth. This comes at cost though, with the durability of composite fillings significantly inferior to metallic materials, often beginning to decay around five years after first being emplaced.

  • Porcelain — Porcelain and other ceramic fillings offer several benefits. Similar to resin composites, porcelain fillings often blend in well with the surrounding teeth. Furthermore, porcelain fillings are much more durable than tooth-colored composites lasting fifteen years or more. The benefits of porcelain fillings are great, but porcelain fillings can also be expensive.

  • Glass Ionomer — Made of acrylic material, glass ionomers are notable due to their fluoride releasing quality. Nevertheless, glass ionomer fillings are not very durable (often less than five years) and frequently fracture.

 

If you have questions about dental fillings, the material we offer for dental fillings or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!