Different Types of Dental Fillings

Different Types of Dental Fillings

Nov 01, 2019

Dental fillings are used in dentistry to close the gaps caused by tooth decay. When a tooth has a cavity, the cavity damages the enamel of the tooth, creating a hole. The hole makes way for food residue and bacteria to get to the inner parts of the teeth. When bacteria gets through to the pulp chamber of teeth, the sensitivity of that tooth is activated. The reason is that the pulp chamber houses the nerve endings and blood vessels of the tooth. This is how patients complain of toothaches. If you have a decayed tooth, your dentist will suggest dental fillings as you primary option to treating your tooth. This often depends with the severity of your cavity.

What Types of Filling Materials Are Available?

Like with more dental appliances, dental fillings are made of different material. The materials are what makes the differences between the dental fillings types that exist. Technically, the patient makes the decision on which dental fillings material they want used for their treatment. However, other reasons such as the extent of the decay, its location in your mouth and dentist’s professional recommendation, should affect the decision. Among the different dental fillings in Chicago include:

  • Gold fillings

Gold fillings are not new in dental fillings treatment in Chicago, Illinois. They are used because of their strength and durability. Gold fillings can last up to 15 years with proper care. Their strength make them suited to withstand heavy chewing, which is why dentists can comfortably use them for molars and premolars. Even though gold fillings are very conspicuous and disliked by some people, some patients enjoy the aesthetic effect thereof. However, gold fillings are very expensive, given the value of gold.

  • Silver fillings

Silver fillings, also called Amalgams, have been used for so many years in dentistry. They are incredibly strong and durable, for up to 15 years. The better news with silver fillings is that they are less expensive as compared to gold fillings. They can even be 10 times cheaper than the cost of cast gold fillings.

Even then, the color of silver against that of natural teeth is not aesthetically appealing. Besides, the fillings can cause a grayish hue of discoloration to the bonded tooth. The biggest downside of silver fillings is that the expansion. When teeth expand or contract with intake of hot or cold foods, it may affect the treated tooth. When compared to other materials, silver fillings expand more, which increases the risks of incurring fractures and cracks on the treated tooth.

  • Tooth-colored composites

Tooth-colored composites have quickly gained popularity today, thanks to cosmetic dentistry. The material features a natural-looking color similar to that of natural teeth. The dentist chooses a shade that is closest to that of a patient’s natural color. This means that the composites are customized for each patient uniquely. It explains why tooth-colored composited have widely been used for other dental restorations, including fixing broken, cracked or chipped teeth. Further to the good news is that these composites completely bond with the natural tooth to provide optimal support and improve functionality.

On the downside, tooth-colored fillings are not as durable as other fillings. They can last up to 5 years. Their strength is also questionable when used for large dental cavities. They are also considerably expensive when compared to silver fillings.

Ceramics fillings

Ceramic fillings mostly feature porcelain material. They are also more natural looking than gold and silver fillings. The ceramics last longer than all fillings, going for more than 15 years. It explains why they are as expensive as gold fillings. The best part about these fillings is that they are stain resistant. This way, even while the rest of your natural teeth are staining, the ceramic fillings may resist a little longer.

Glass ionomer

Glass ionomer features a type of glass material and acrylic. The fillings are mostly used to fill teeth below the gum line. They are also often used for filling young children’s teeth. They are loved because of how they release fluoride in teeth to prevent decay from reoccurring in teeth. However, the material is not as strong and durable like others. It can last up to 5 years or less. The material is also very prone to breakage.

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