Posted on Jan 15, 2021 8:21 pm
If you have cavities, getting fillings to keep your teeth from developing worse issues makes sense. But how do you decide between the different types of fillings that are available? Often, the choice will depend on where in your mouth the cavity is. Because aesthetics are important, white fillings are commonly used in the front teeth.
Types of Dental Fillings Available
Through the ages, many materials have been used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay:
- Silver amalgam (mercury mixed with tin, zinc, silver, and copper)
- Composite resin fillings
- Plastic (tooth-colored)
- Glass ionomer (similar to composite resin fillings)
For today, let’s focus on the two most common types of fillings — silver and white fillings, or amalgam and composite. The location of your cavity, the degree of decay, and your insurance coverage all act on which type of filling your dentist will recommend.
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A quick look at the advantages of silver fillings:
- Extremely durable — can last 10 to 15 years
- Strong enough to withstand rigorous chewing
- Inexpensive compared to composite fillings
As with all good things, there are also disadvantages to silver fillings:
- Aesthetics — they are very noticeable, even on back teeth
- Greater loss of original tooth material — requires a larger workspace, which means more drilling
- More aesthetics — may cause a grayish coloration around the filling
- Amalgam fillings are more susceptible to cracking/fracturing with exposure to hot and cold extremes
After examining amalgam fillings, it is easy to see why silver fillings remain one of the most common types of fillings used in dentistry. They are effective, but not real pretty. If you want your smile to look its best, white fillings may be the right choice for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of White Fillings
Fillings fall into the category of dental restorations. The resin material used for fillings is also used for dental bonding. Bonding can repair chipped teeth, cover stained teeth, or close gaps between teeth. At 320 Dental Studio, we use the same resin to create durable, long-lasting fillings that blend well with your original tooth coloration.
Exploring the advantages of composites:
- Aesthetics — Color can be closely matched to your existing tooth color
- White fillings bond to your teeth
- Versatility to fill cavities, repair chipped teeth, or build up worn teeth
- Leaves more of the original tooth intact (less drilling)
Disadvantages are part of the exploration:
- Not as durable — composite fillings last 5 or more years (amalgams last 10 to 15 years)
- Not well-suited to larger cavities
- Takes longer to fill teeth using composites
- More than one visit may be necessary
- Higher expense
Amalgam fillings and white fillings are both common remedies for cavities. We recommend that you discuss your choice with your dentist. You have to look in the mirror every day, so your dentist will take your considerations into account.
Contact 320 Dental Studio for White Fillings
Whether you have decided on white fillings, amalgam, or you are still wondering which is best for you, contact 320 Dental Studio. Our staff can help with the decision after an examination.
There are several methods to schedule an appointment. You can use our online scheduling form, send a contact request, or call our office at (320) 763-7484. Our helpful staff can answer your questions and assist you in setting up an appointment.