Fillings are a dental procedure dreaded by most patients. Common as they may be, most people think only of the fear factor and do not give much thought to the actual treatment. What many do not realise is that there are many types of dental filling available, and choosing one will depend on the extent of the repair and which type of tooth needs filling. It will also depend on whether you are allergic to particular materials. Your budget is a consideration, too.
The following short discussion takes a look at the different options available:
Types of Dental Fillings
- Amalgam Dental Fillings: Also known as silver fillings, amalgam dental fillings are relatively inexpensive and highly resistant to general wear and tear. However, they have a slightly dark colour that is more noticeable than plastic or porcelain fillings, which is why they are not the best choice to fill visible teeth.
- Gold Dental Fillings: This type of dental filling is usually made to order and can even last up to twenty years. Because of its durability, however, the costs can burn quite a hole through your pocket. Note that gold dental fillings require several visits to the dentist for fitting, cementing, and checkups.
- Porcelain Dental Fillings: Similar to gold fillings, these are custom-fit and are very pricey. These are likewise extremely durable, stain-resistant, and versatile since they can be easily matched to your teeth’s natural colour, according to Penrose Dental. They are also known as porcelain onlays or inlays and are usually the choice for restoring multiple teeth.
- Composite Resins: Perfect for restoring several teeth, composite resins, also known as plastic fillings, match the natural colour of your teeth. They are, however, not ideal for filling large cavities since they wear faster than other types of dental fillings and can be stained with tea, coffee, and tobacco. These can last three to ten years and are the most affordable option.
Visit your dentist for a thorough check of your mouth to look for cavities and for advise on the ideal dental filling options for your specific case. However, if your dentist sees that a huge section of your tooth has been damaged by fracture or decay, you may be recommended to get a cap or crown instead.
If damage has reached your nerves, more extensive procedures may be needed, such as a root canal therapy or pulp capping.