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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Different Types of Dental Fillings

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There are several types of dental fillings to choose from, including amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings; composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings; gold fillings; ceramic fillings, also known as inlays or onlays; and glass ionomer fillings. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable, but are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of fillings. Composite fillings can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth and are less noticeable, but are not as strong as amalgam fillings and may be more expensive. Gold fillings are strong and durable, but are very expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Ceramic fillings are aesthetically pleasing and strong, but are more expensive and may require two visits to the dentist. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride and can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth, but may not be suitable for teeth that bear a lot of pressure and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Dental fillings are used to repair and restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or injury. There are several types of dental fillings to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here is an overview of the different types of dental fillings:

  1. Amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made of a mixture of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. They are strong and durable and can be used on teeth that bear a lot of pressure, such as molars. However, amalgam fillings are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of fillings and may show through the tooth when the patient speaks or smiles.
  2. Composite fillings. Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, are made of a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles. They can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth and are less noticeable than amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are not as strong as amalgam fillings and may not be suitable for teeth that bear a lot of pressure. They also tend to be more expensive than amalgam fillings.
  3. Gold fillings. Gold fillings are made of a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals. They are strong and durable and can last for many years. However, gold fillings are also very expensive and may not be covered by insurance. They are also not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of fillings and may show through the tooth when the patient speaks or smiles.
  4. Ceramic fillings. Ceramic fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are made of porcelain or another type of ceramic material. They can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth and are aesthetically pleasing. Ceramic fillings are strong and durable and can last for many years. However, they are more expensive than other types of fillings and may require two visits to the dentist to be installed.
  5. Glass ionomer fillings. Glass ionomer fillings are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass. They are not as strong as other types of fillings and are primarily used to fill small cavities or to protect the root surface of a tooth. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay, and can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth. However, they may not be suitable for teeth that bear a lot of pressure and may need to be replaced more frequently than other types of fillings.

When deciding on a type of dental filling, it’s important to consider factors such as the location and size of the cavity, the patient’s budget, and the patient’s aesthetic preferences. Your dentist can help you choose the best type of filling for your needs.

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