Types of Tooth Fillings
It is important to mention that there is no ideal filling that will fit everyone.
The type of tooth fillings that you need are based on these factors:
The different types of tooth fillings include gold fillings, silver fillings, porcelain fillings and composite fillings.
Type 1: Gold Fillings
Many dentists will agree that this is a great choice for a tooth filling because gold fillings are very durable. On average, they are expected to last for at least 10, and often even more than 20 years.
Gold does not corrode; gum tissues are tolerant of gold inlays, and the filling is very strong, capable of withstanding great chewing force.
On the downside, they often expensive due to the cost of gold itself.
Also, patients often decide against using gold fillings as they prefer the color that will match their other teeth.
Type 2: Silver (Amalgam) Fillings
Silver fillings also last considerable amount of time (at least a decade) and are durable. On top of that, they are the cheapest option.
However, there are certain disadvantages. Their aesthetics is poor, and they do not match the natural teeth color. They can also cause a grayish hue to the structure of the surrounding teeth.
Among the different fillings, sliver (amalgam) material expands the greatest when hot or cold food is consumed. This results in a higher probability of cracks or fractures developing within the affected tooth.
Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, which might result in an allergic reaction to a small percentage of the patients (approximately 1% of all cases).
Type 3: Porcelain/Ceramic Fillings
The porcelain fillings are extremely durable and are expected to last up to 30 years.
These fillings are usually custom made and are directly bonded to the tooth. The porcelain material does not shrink nor change its size over time, and this results in a greater tooth stability. Also, they are stain resistant and would not discolor with age.
Because of the complexity involved in the porcelain filling process, it is always the most expensive option.
Type 4: Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are the closest possible match with the color of your teeth, and this is why they are mostly used for the front teeth or other teeth that are visible. They are also very strong and often do not require as much of tooth structure to be taken out as silver fillings.
From a cost perspective, composite fillings are the second most economical out of the four options. They are also the quickest option for a tooth filling procedure.
The disadvantage is that they have a shorter lifespan of 5-7 years and would require more dental maintenance over time.
Composite fillings are also prone to staining and discolouration with age.
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