Different Types of Dental Fillings, Their Pros and Cons
Cavities often resulting from bad oral hygiene may damage and weaken your teeth, causing dental pain and, if left untreated, tooth loss. To save a tooth damaged by cavities, dentists usually recommend dental fillings. So what exactly are dental fillings, and what makes them one of the best dental restorations?
What are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a tooth restoration material used to restore the function, strength and appearance of a damaged tooth. A tooth’s structure can get damaged due to several factors, but the most common one that affects patients is cavities. Since their introduction, dental fillings have risen to become one of the most popular dental restorations, and this is because of their durability and simplicity. Having a dental filling is comfortable and feels natural such that patients compare them to having natural teeth. They are also very versatile and can be used for their cosmetic benefits to improve the aesthetics of a tooth damaged by a cavity.
What are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?
There are various types of filling materials you can opt for while having teeth fillings. Each filling material is effective but has its fair share of pros and cons. Below are an example of common dental filling materials and their strengths and weaknesses:
1) Amalgam (Silver) Fillings
Amalgam filling is one of the most common fillings used for dental restorations. Although the name “silver filling” suggests that the filling is entirely made from silver, it is actually a combination of silver and other metals such as tin, zinc, copper and mercury.
> Pros of Getting Amalgam (Silver) Fillings:
- Durable as the filling material is very robust.
- It doesn’t shrink easily, thus low risk of filling materials leaking.
- Can withstand a lot of biting pressure, therefore suitable for molar restoration.
- It is very affordable.
> Cons of Getting Amalgam (Silver) Fillings:
- Its appearance is not aesthetically pleasing as it doesn’t blend with natural teeth.
- Installing amalgam fillings is invasive as it involves the destruction of healthy tooth structures.
- The filling material can expand and contract with temperatures which may result in dental cracks in future.
2) Porcelain Fillings
Porcelain fillings, also known as ceramic fillings, are aesthetically pleasing dental fillings that closely resemble natural teeth. This filling material is pricier than other fillings but is stain resistant and less abrasive than composite fillings. Our dentist in Tampa, FL 33618, can color your ceramic fillings to look even more natural and blend in with your teeth.
> Pros of Getting Porcelain Fillings:
- Aesthetically pleasing and natural looking.
- Stain resistant and less abrasive than composite fillings.
- It does not pose a risk of leakage if properly installed.
- Its material is not known to be prone to causing allergic reactions.
> Cons of Getting Porcelain Fillings:
- It’s brittle compared to metal fillings.
- It is expensive compared to other dental fillings.
- Requires a minimum of two visits to fit.
3) Composite Fillings
It is a cheaper alternative for patients looking for natural-looking dental fillings. The filling is made from a mixture of medical-grade plastic and resin, which is placed on the damaged tooth while soft, molded and then hardened through a curing light.
> Pros of Getting Composite Fillings:
- They are aesthetically pleasing and can be shaded to match the patient’s natural teeth’ color.
- Can be fitted in one dental visit.
- There is the preservation of the natural tooth structure.
- Cheaper than ceramic fillings.
> Cons of Getting Composite Fillings:
- It’s less stain resistant than porcelain fillings.
- Not as durable or strong as other dental fillings and can break when subjected to a lot of chewing pressure.
- Less durable compared to amalgam and ceramic fillings.
4) Gold Alloy Fillings
Gold fillings are a durable type of dental but less popular than amalgam fillings since they are expensive. Similar to silver fillings, gold alloy fillings are made from a combination of different metals, which includes copper and gold.
> Pros of Getting Gold Alloy Fillings:
- Long-lasting and robust.
- Corrosion resistant.
- Can withstand a lot of bite force.
- Doesn’t damage healthy tooth structures during fitting.
> Cons of Getting Gold Alloy Fillings:
- It is expensive.
- Its color is noticeable and cannot be painted to match natural teeth.
- Needs more than one appointment to place.
5) Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass ionomer fillings are often used to restore children’s teeth. They release fluoride, which is good for healthy teeth and protects them from decay.
> Pros of Getting Glass Ionomer Fillings:
- Aesthetically pleasing and resembles natural teeth.
- It contains fluoride, which helps protect teeth from dental caries.
- Can be installed in one dental visit.
- Rarely triggers an allergic reaction.
> Cons of Getting Glass Ionomer Fillings:
- It is a bit costly.
- Cannot withstand very strong biting forces.
- Not as durable as ceramic and composite fillings.
What are the Aftercare Tips for Dental Fillings?
Here are the aftercare instructions for tooth fillings:
- Watch Your Diet: don’t eat hard or sticky food immediately after getting dental fillings as the restored teeth will be sensitive and sore; thus, doing it may cause pain and discomfort.
- Be Gentle: the tooth will be sore after dental filling. Don’t poke the restored tooth or area for at least a day to ensure it heals correctly.
- Rinse Regularly: we recommend rinsing your mouth after getting dental fillings to remove any debris or food particles and to keep your mouth clean. Rinse using salt water or none alcohol-based mouthwash.
- Take Prescribed Medication: our dentist in Carrollwood will give you a prescription to adhere to during recovery. Take medicine at the prescribed dosage to alleviate dental pain and prevent inflammation.
Get Dental Fillings Near You
Dental fillings are an excellent way of restoring teeth damaged by cavities. Since there are various types of dental fillings, choosing one that best suits your needs may be a challenge. Ensure you first consider the pros and cons of each filling material before making a decision. If you are considering getting teeth fillings near Carrollwood, FL, contact Bay Premier Dentistry for consultation to get dental fillings in Tampa, FL. Our dentist will help you choose the right dental filling to meet your needs.