To 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.
Unlike the old metal dental fillings
Tooth-colored dental fillings contain no toxic materials
Cast Gold Fillings Advantages and Disadvantages
Strength is certainly an advantage to receiving cast gold fillings. Without vulnerability 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, a few people still prefer 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 on the filling has little to no effect on it and they last the longest of all materials available 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 may also prompt some patients to choose silver amalgam fillings instead as it 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.
Enhance your smile with Tooth-Colored Fillings & Composites
Silver Fillings (Amalgams)
Unlike gold cast fillings, silver fillings can last 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.
The clinical advantage is that, more of the tooth must be removed in order to create enough space for the amalgam filling to fit, when with composite filling material. Silver fillings have a higher chance of causing cracks and fractures in the tooth structure. There is also the possibility of an allergic reaction to mercury in amalgam fillings in about 1% of all individuals.
The appearances of these composite fillings closely match the color to the existing teeth. They are often used in teeth that are easily visible in front of the mouth. Although in the past few years most patients request tooth colored fillings (restorations). We are proud to say that we have not placed any filling other than tooth colored since 1997. These chemically-bonded materials adhere to the structure of the tooth and tend to require less removal of the natural tooth in order to place the composite fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are chemically bonded to the structure of the tooth, which provides 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.
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