WHAT ARE DENTAL FILLINGS?
To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area where the decay was removed.
Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from everyday wear and tear.
TYPES OF FILLINGS
- Gold fillings are made in a laboratory by a trained lab technician and then cemented into place by Dr. Acevedo. Gold fillings are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and can require multiple visits.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth. At Albion Dental we rarely (if ever) use amalgam fillings.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Fillings?
A good candidate for dental fillings will have minimal tooth damage due to cavities or other concerns. If this is the case, you will have to choose a filling material, and many patients prefer tooth-colored filling like porcelain or composite material that can be matched to the tooth for invisible restoration of your smile.
There are limitations to the use of composite material. It is typically used only for smaller cavities because larger coverage areas may be susceptible to chips, cracks, staining, and early wear. For larger areas of damage, porcelain is preferred. It is often used for inlays or onlays when larger cavities are present, but there’s not enough damage to warrant a crown.
When you need fillings, the experienced dentists at Albion Dental will gladly discuss all of your options, offer advice, and help you to determine the best filling material for your needs and preferences.