A dental filling is a material inserted into the tooth when a cavity in a tooth has been detected. It is a natural or synthetic substance that replaces the decayed portion to restore the tooth’s integrity and shape. The filling material can vary depending on what type of cavity it needs to be used for. Each material has its pros and cons, so the best one for your cavity will depend on your individual needs and your dentist’s recommendation. Here are some materials that can be used for stuffing and their pros and cons.
Composite Fillings are made from a mixture of materials. The main components are glass filler, resin, and plastic particles. Composite fillings can repair a single large cavity or multiple small cavities in a single tooth.
- These fillings provide strength and durability to the tooth while lighter weight than other materials.
- Composite fillings are versatile and can be used anywhere in your mouth.
- They have an excellent appearance, natural color, and blend with existing tooth structure.
- Composite fillings are generally more expensive than other types of fillings.
- They are not as strong and durable as other materials used for fillings.
- Composite fillings can chip, wear, or break over time and need to be replaced more often than different types of filling materials.
Ceramic or Porcelain Fillings
A natural substance derived from the ground, ceramic is considered to be one of the best materials that can be used for fillings.
- It has got a glossy finish and can be easily matched with the color of your teeth.
- The ceramic material also helps in preventing bacteria from growing within the tooth.
- The material does not break easily, and it can last up to ten years or more before needing to be replaced again.
- The only downside of ceramic used for fillings is that it can chip off if it’s not placed correctly, especially since it’s prone to chipping and cracking compared with other materials like composite resin.
- Gold is a very durable material when used to fill a cavity. It can last for many years without any problems.
- Gold fillings can be attractive, and many people like the way they look in a smile.
- The main problem with gold fillings is that they are expensive.
- They are also not easy to place inside the tooth, especially significant ones.
- Gold can irritate the gums and cause some pain and discomfort.
Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals like silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury. This is the most common type of filling used by dentists, and it offers a great deal of versatility.
- They can be used to fill cavities in any part of the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings are suitable for restoring teeth with large holes in them.
- They are also malleable, which means they can be shaped to fit around the tooth they are being placed in.
- The main reason people are not keen on amalgam fillings is the mercury content. Amalgam fillings contain around 40% mercury which makes them a toxic material.
- Studies have linked amalgam fillings to different health issues like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
If you are looking for a filling material that can last for many years, then ceramic, gold, or amalgam fillings are all great options. If you want to prevent cavities from developing and have a natural-looking smile, then ceramic or porcelain fillings might be the way to go. Consult with your dentist to figure out the best choice for your situation.