Dental Problems

Dental Filling Options

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and cost of dental restorations. These factors include: the patient’s oral and general health, the components used in the filling material; where and how the filling is placed; the chewing load that the tooth will have to bear; and the length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth. Let us look in detail about the different types of dental fillings.

Types of dental fillings

Amalgam:

The most common fillings, amalgam fillings are also known as silver fillings. They are the least expensive and the most durable. Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content.

Composite fillings:

Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colour filling. Composite fillings are also versatile enough to repair a chipped tooth, broken tooth or worn teeth. Composites can also be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.

Ionomers:

Glass ionomers can release a small amount of fluoride that may be beneficial for patients who are at high risk for decay. Glass ionomers are primarily used in areas not subject to heavy chewing pressure. Resin ionomers also are used for very small, non-load bearing fillings (between the teeth), on the root surfaces of teeth, and they have low to moderate resistance to fracture.

All-Porcelain (Ceramic) Dental Materials:

All-porcelain (ceramic) dental materials include porcelain, ceramic or glasslike fillings and crowns. The restorations are prone to fracture when placed under tension or on impact.

Ceramic fillings:

Another tooth-colored alternative to composite resin fillings are ceramic fillings, which are often made of porcelain, making them more resistant to staining. They are chemically bonded to natural teeth which can even strengthen them and may last for over 15 years.

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