The world of dentistry has changed in so many ways – and not for the worst but for the better. In the past few years, the only dental filling available was the silver amalgam fillings. But now, there are several options you can select from.
Ever had a quote ‘make new friends, but don’t forget the old, one is silver, the other is gold’? As new dental materials keep popping up, the dental fraternity has not discarded the traditional silver fillings or rendered it un-useful. It still serves its purpose to the fullest. Actually, it’s preferred by many due to its durable, high wear resistant nature and low cost.
However, if you don’t want a very noticeable filling, then amalgam is not for you. It doesn’t match the color of the teeth so it’s easily spotted. Also, a lot of tooth structure needs to be removed to create enough space to hold the amalgam silver filling in place.
Composite resin fillings on the other hand closely match the color of the teeth and are quite durable; though not as durable as silver fillings. Also, these dental fillings are ideal for smaller cavities. They tend to crack or chip when used in large cavities. On a brighter note, though, less tooth structure is removed and it can also be used to repair broken or chipped teeth.
Composite fillings are quite expensive compared to the traditional amalgam fillings.
Glass ionomer is another option you can explore. The material contains acrylic and some special type of glass. If your tooth is badly decayed, glass ionomer can work wonders for your tooth. They tend to release small amounts of fluoride and the filling extends a little below the gum line. These dental fillings, however, are more susceptible to wear.
It’s also as expensive as the composite fillings.
Ceramics, commonly referred to as porcelain filling, is another great option on the list. It closely matches the natural color of the tooth. And also provides a unique combination of stain resistance and abrasiveness compared to the composite filling.
These dental fillings are more brittle than composites, but more expensive money wise.