Occasionally, during a routine dental cleaning, your dentist may notice a cavity has formed. A dental filling is usually the simplest option for restoring the structure of a tooth that has decayed, but which kind is best? The guide below explores the different types available, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made from a combination of metals such as silver, copper, tin, and liquid mercury. This is the least expensive kind of dental filling, and the one most likely to be covered by dental insurance. Amalgam fillings are quite durable, making them a convenient choice for cavities in molars that endure a lot of force when you chew. However, because the amalgam is a mixture of metals, it may corrode or become brittle over time. Another downside of an amalgam filling is that it doesn’t look natural, so it might make you self-conscious if you have one near the front of your mouth.
Gold fillings are extremely durable because they expand and contract under hot and cold conditions in a similar way to the natural tooth structure. This means that, unlike amalgam fillings, they are unlikely to fracture or fall out, and since gold doesn’t oxidize, they don’t corrode and turn black. The smooth, polished surface of a gold filling doesn’t accumulate plaque, making dental cleaning easier for that tooth. However, gold fillings are more expensive than amalgam ones and often not covered by dental insurance. They also won’t blend in with the natural color of your teeth.
A porcelain filling, sometimes called a ceramic filling, offers the advantage of a more natural appearance because it can be created to match the exact color of the tooth it is restoring. This type of filling is extremely strong and can last up to twice as long as an amalgam one. Porcelain fillings are very stain resistant, so they don’t require any special dental cleaning. However, applying a porcelain filling can be a multi-step process that requires more than one trip to the dental office.
Fallbrook Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE, is a small family dental practice dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate care for every patient. Whether you need a routine dental cleaning, restorative treatments such as dental implants, or cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening, their experienced team will provide you with the personalized dental care you deserve. Call (402) 467-0007 today to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more about the practice.