A filling is a dental restoration used to repair minor to moderate tooth damage. When decayed or damaged portions of a tooth are removed, fillings prevent further decay by sealing off the area with a biocompatible material such as composite resin or porcelain. Although metal fillings are often less aesthetically pleasing than cosmetically pleasing alternatives like white fillings and tooth-colored crowns, they are a reliable solution for many patients’ needs. Metal fillings are strong and durable enough to withstand years of biting and chewing forces. They also tend to be less expensive and require less preparation to place than other materials.
Porcelain fillings are becoming increasingly popular for their natural look and ability to closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Unlike traditional metal fillings, porcelain fillings can be shaded to match the exact shade of the surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance. They can also be created to cover the entire surface of the tooth for a more uniform appearance than traditional silver amalgam fillings.
Silver fillings, also known as metal fillings, are one of the most common types of dental restorations used today. They last for a decade before needing replacement and can last even longer if they are taken care of well. Silver fillings can withstand the chewing forces in your mouth without breaking apart or cracking. In some cases, a resin bonding material can be used on top of a silver filling to help further protect the tooth from breaking. This can help extend the lifespan of the silver filling because the resin bonds to the tooth structure.
Today, more dentists are choosing to use composite resin for fillings. This material blends with the natural shade of the teeth for a more discreet appearance. It also does not typically contain traces of mercury as metal amalgams do. As a result, many patients who are concerned about mercury exposure opt for this alternative instead.
Composite resin and porcelain fillings are quickly becoming more popular alternatives to metal-based fillings. Gold fillings are often used in the back of the mouth since they are more cosmetically appealing than amalgam fillings, which have a metallic look. These materials are also less sensitive to temperature fluctuations in the mouth and require less post-filling care. The strength and durability of these materials may be comparable to that of gold fillings. However, these composite and porcelain fillings are also more expensive than their metal counterparts.
Patients may also prefer gold fillings for their cost-effectiveness and ability to last for many decades. Additionally, some patients are allergic to other white or tooth-colored substances used in other types of fillings. These patients will have no choice but to opt for gold or amalgam fillings.
Request an appointment or call Osuna Dental Care: Chris Y. Kim DDS at (505) 884-1989 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.