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Tooth-Colored Fillings


fillings1To treat a cavity, the decayed portion of one’s tooth is removed and filled with a new material to prevent the tooth from becoming infected.

There are a number of different materials that may be used to fill a cavity, including cast gold, silver amalgam, porcelain or tooth-colored composite resin fillings, each with its own pros and cons.
 
 
 

Cast Gold Fillings and Advantages and Disadvantages

Strength is certainly an advantage to receiving cast gold fillings. Without being subjected to corrosion, each filling will last at minimum 10 to 25 years and often longer. Although very few people choose anything other than tooth colored fillings but a few people still choose gold. Another reason our patients choose gold cast fillings is because they find them much more attractive to the naked eye compared to silver amalgam fillings but certainly not compared to the tooth colored fillings. The durability of these fillings is the single most reason most patients find appealing. Cast gold fillings can withstand greater pressure from chewing, so the everyday impact received on the filling has little to no effect on it and they last the longest of all materials know today.

The cost of gold fillings compared to other alternatives can be off-putting, since gold cast fillings can be up to ten times more expensive than silver amalgam fillings. The length of time spent on the procedure itself may also prompt some patients to choose silver amalgam fillings instead. This is a two visit process. Some patients dislike the appearance of the gold fillings because the metal used in the fillings does not match the color of the rest of the tooth.

Silver Fillings(Amalgams)

Unlike gold cast fillings, silver fillings can last around 7 to 15 years. They can also withstand the day-to-day impact well from chewing, and the cost of these fillings is less than gold cast fillings or composite fillings.

Some patients find the aesthetics of silver displeasing to the eye because they do not match the natural color of the teeth. The silver fillings can also cause a grayish color to form around the already existing areas of the tooth, making these a less attractive option for front facing teeth.

In addition, more of the tooth must be removed in order to create enough space for the amalgam filling to fit compared to composite filling material. Silver fillings have a higher chance to cause cracks and fractures to the tooth when exposed to hot or cold liquids and around 1% of individuals may be allergic to the mercury in amalgam filling procedures.

Tooth-Colored Composites

The appearances of these composite fillings closely match the color to one’s existing teeth. They are often used in front teeth and other teeth that are easily visible. Although in the past few years almost no one in our area has requested anything but tooth colored fillings (restorations). We are proud to say that we have not placed any filling other that tooth colored since 1997 at our office. These chemically-bonded materials adhere to the structure of the tooth and tend to require less removal of one’s natural tooth in order to place the composite filling. Tooth-colored fillings are chemically bonded to the structure of the tooth, which gives is a strong adhesion to the tooth.

Tooth-colored fillings are ideal for repairing a broken, chipped or decaying tooth or tooth that has been worn down over time. These composite materials are strong, attractive and require less tooth removal than other filling alternatives.

Cons of tooth-colored fillings

With a lifespan of around 7 to 15 years, composites last a shorter amount of time than amalgam or gold cast. Often, while only one appointment is needed to complete the procedure, it can take up to 10 minutes longer than amalgam fillings.

For visible teeth, many patients prefer tooth-colored fillings for a stronger and more attractive smile. Upon your next appointment, we are more than happy to discuss all of your options with you to ensure you achieve a strong, attractive and long-lasting smile!