How many types of dental fillings are there?
There are several types of dental fillings that can be used to repair cavities in the teeth. Here are some common options:
- Amalgam fillings: Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, copper, and tin. They are strong and durable and are often used on molars and other back teeth where a lot of biting force is applied. Amalgam fillings are less expensive than other types of fillings, but they are also more noticeable and may not match the colour of the natural teeth as well.
- Composite resin fillings: Composite resin fillings are made of a plastic-like material that is matched to the colour of the natural teeth. They are often used on front teeth where a more natural appearance is desired. Composite resin fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings and may not be as durable, but they are less noticeable and blend in better with natural teeth.
- Porcelain fillings: Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or outlays, are made of ceramic material that is matched to the colour of the natural teeth. They are more expensive than other types of fillings and require more time to place, but they are very strong and durable and have a natural appearance.
- Gold fillings: Gold fillings are a type of dental filling that is made of gold or another alloy of gold. They are used to fill large cavities or to repair heavily worn or damaged teeth. Gold fillings are strong and durable, and can last for many years with proper care. They are also less likely to cause sensitivity or allergic reactions than other types of fillings. However, gold fillings are also more expensive than other types of fillings, and they are more noticeable, as they do not match the colour of the natural teeth. Gold fillings are not as common as other types of fillings, and may not be offered by all dentists.
How to choose the right filling for you?
When choosing a filling, it is important to consider a number of factors, including:
- Location of the filling: Different types of fillings are better suited for different locations in the mouth. For example, amalgam fillings are often used on molars and other back teeth where a lot of biting force is applied, while composite resin fillings are often used on front teeth where a more natural appearance is desired.
- Cost: Different types of fillings have different costs, with some being more expensive than others. It’s important to consider your budget and what you can afford when choosing a filling.
- Durability: Some types of fillings, such as amalgam and gold, are more durable than others, such as composite resin. If you have a lot of wear and tear on your teeth, or if you grind your teeth at night, you may want to choose a more durable filling.
- Appearance: The appearance of the filling is also an important consideration, especially if the filling is in a visible location. If you want the filling to blend in with your natural teeth, you may want to choose a composite resin filling or a porcelain filling.
- Sensitivity: Some people are more sensitive to certain types of fillings than others. If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to choose a filling that is less likely to cause sensitivity or allergic reactions.
It is important to discuss your options with your dentist and consider their recommendations when choosing a filling. Your dentist will be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of each filling.