Different Types of Dental Fillings and Choosing The Right One

Jul 01, 2022

What Are Dental Fillings?

They are dental restorations for repairing and restoring damaged and diseased teeth. Dental fillings feature different materials that can replace the damaged portions of teeth’ enamels, restoring their functions. Typically, dental fillings are direct installations that fill and seal teeth to prevent the re-entry of bacteria.

How Do Dental Fillings Work?

Our dentist near you will numb your mouth with local anesthesia once (s)he determines that tooth fillings are the most suitable treatment option for you. After numbing, our dentist will use a dental drill or laser to remove the damaged portion of your tooth. The goal is to remove as much tooth enamel as infected by bacteria. (S)he will use a cavity detector to determine the extent of tooth damage. Once all the infection is out, our dentist will apply an antibiotic to kill any residue bacteria in your tooth.

The process of filling your tooth is fairly simple. Our dentist applies the filling material of choice, sealing any hole that may allow bacteria into the inner layers of your tooth. Our dentist must also shape the filling appropriately to ensure an even bite.

What Types of Materials Can You Choose?

The types of tooth fillings near you differ based on the material, each presenting unique benefits. They include the following:

Gold Fillings

They feature gold as the primary metal. These metal-based tooth fillings provide a sense of luxury for tooth restoration. They also make for sturdy dental fillings, perfect for restoring molars and premolars. Gold fillings last a long time, typically about 20 years or more.

Silver Fillings

They are also called amalgams. They are the most common dental fillings, used for many years to restore teeth. They feature a metal alloy of materials like copper, zinc, and mercury, with silver as the primary component. The metal-based fillings feature sturdy materials for restoring the back teeth. They last a long time, usually about 20 or more years. The even better news is that they are a lot cheaper than gold fillings.

Composite Fillings

They are also called white fillings. They feature tooth-colored composite resin that matches the color of natural teeth. White fillings offer an incredible aesthetic value that metal-based fillings cannot. It makes composite fillings ideal for repairing the front teeth. These tooth fillings are also inexpensive, making them a suitable alternative to amalgams. The even better news is that they are non-toxic since they do not contain any metallic elements like mercury that may cause allergic reactions.

Porcelain Fillings

These are alternatives to composite fillings, providing more satisfaction regarding aesthetic aspects of your smile. Porcelain is a tooth-colored, semi-transparent material that is both aesthetically pleasing and life-like. It closely mimics the appearance and feel of natural teeth. Porcelain fillings are typically indirect restorations called onlays and inlays, usually created in a dental laboratory. They fit perfectly and are suitable as alternatives to dental crowns and other types of dental fillings. These dental fillings are also very sturdy, making them ideal even for restoring back teeth. Besides, porcelain fillings last for many years, usually about 20 years or more.

Glass Ionomers

They are the most unique types of dental fillings. They feature acrylic and are typically used for preventive dental care. Glass ionomers are popularly known as dental sealants. They are ideal for protecting the chewing surfaces of back teeth and preventing dental cavities from forming. The better news is that some glass ionomers are packed with fluoride, which is an incredible mineral for strengthening teeth.

How to Choose The Right Dental Filling Type For You?

Every dental filling has the benefits that make it ideal for restoring damaged teeth. However, when choosing the ideal one for your treatment, you must consider various factors:

  • What are Your Aesthetic Needs? – If you value the aesthetic appearance of your smile, you will choose a tooth-colored dental filling.
  • Location of the Tooth – restoring your front teeth is different from treating the molars and premolars. For front teeth, you must prioritize aesthetics. For the back teeth, your priority should be sturdiness, supporting the chewing function of molars.
  • Cost – some dental fillings are more expensive than others. Gold fillings are the most expensive restorations, followed by porcelain fillings that can sometimes match the cost of gold fillings.
  • Durability – glass ionomers and composite fillings do not last as long as the other materials.

Visit a Dental Clinic Near You

Confused about choosing the right type of dental filling for you? Call us or book a consultation with Pearly Whites of Pearland to know more about dental fillings in Pearland, TX!