Dental Fillings: 3 Types You Should Know

dentist showing xray of teeth to patient in the township of hillsborough, nj

Dental fillings are individuals or combinations of metals, glass, plastic, or other dental filling materials utilized to replace or repair teeth. Fillings are frequently used to “fill” cavities or areas of teeth that your dentist has removed to prevent further tooth decay. Additionally, fillings are utilized to restore teeth damaged by misuse, like those broken or cracked (like from tooth grinding or nail-biting).

When the enamel is often exposed to acidic substances, it loses minerals. In some cases, the mineral loss might manifest as a white patch, signaling the beginning of tooth decay. If the tooth decay process is allowed to progress, more minerals will be lost. Eventually, a tiny opening will form in the tooth, known as a cavity. Once a hole is made, it can only be filled.

Filling this hole does not call for many worries. A seasoned dentist, like the experts at Hillsborough Prime Dental, can restore your tooth’s health and beauty with dental fillings of any kind.

Let’s discuss the three types of filling below.

      1. Amalgam Dental Fillings

    This common form of dental filling is primarily composed of silver (90%) but also includes other materials. Tin, zinc, copper, and mercury are the four elements that make up this filling material, also known as “silver amalgam.” It is a popular alternative because it is strong, can last a long time, and costs less than the other options. For instance, if you had a new amalgam filling, it would take up to ten years to replace it. Because of its durability, dentists often use it. The primary disadvantage is that it does not blend in with the natural color of the teeth. Hence, there are better choices for a tooth that will be visible. The longevity of silver amalgam fillings makes them the dental filling of choice for cavities that are very large or those in the back teeth.

        1. Composite Dental Fillings

      These types of fillings are manufactured using materials like plastic and resin. Due to the growing popularity of tooth-colored fillings and the advancement of composite resin materials, they are being utilized more frequently to fill teeth. It is hardened with a powerful light after being positioned within the tooth while still soft. The fact that it can be colored to resemble the patient’s natural tooth enamel is the primary reason it is so widely used. Additionally, they last less time than some of the other forms of fillings. They have a lifespan of between five and ten years, after which they may need replacement. It is created by combining several types of glass and quartz, resulting in a durable and visually beautiful filling.

          1. Ceramic Dental Fillings

        Porcelain is used in their construction, giving them long-lasting quality and refined beauty. Ceramic fillings are more expensive than composite resin fillings. Still, they resemble the natural appearance of teeth and are less likely to discolor or wear down over time. Ceramic fillings are more durable than composite ones. Hence, you can only utilize them in extensive cavities. The dentist can create a bigger space to accommodate the additional mass.

        Gold fillings are preferred among some people who might want a flashier appearance. Gold fillings are durable and pricey, and they aren’t always thought of as an affordable filler type simply because they are expensive.

        What Differentiates These 3 Types Of Dental Fillings?

        There are circumstances under which one of these three fillings would be chosen above the others. There are circumstances under which one of these three fillings would be chosen above the others. The different types of fillings will be explained in terms of durability, cost, material component, visibility, and placement.  

        Filling Durability

        Composite fillings have a shorter lifespan than their amalgam counterparts. Dental amalgam has been demonstrated to endure longer than composite and ceramic fillings, sometimes for as long as 15 years. Composite fillings typically last between 5 and 10 years, which is shorter than the lifespan of metal. On the other hand, Ceramic fillings can endure for at least 15 years, making them the most durable option. Also, heat and cold can cause amalgam fillings to expand and contract. Composite fillings do not grow, extract, or leak.

        Visibility of Fillings

        Silver is the primary component of amalgams; therefore, the color stands out when a person speaks. However, composite and ceramic fillings are manufactured to match the color of the patient’s actual teeth. The best part is that you can have the color of the enamel matched so that it will look just like your own teeth.

        Filling Materials

        Ceramic dental fillings are an alternative to silver amalgams. They can be placed either on top of or inside a tooth cavity. Ceramic fillers, typically made of porcelain, also resist staining over time. Silver, tin, zinc, and copper make up half of the ingredients in amalgam, while mercury makes up the other half.

        Placement of Fillings

        Ceramic fillings are fabricated in a laboratory and then fused onto the teeth firmly. Because composite fillings bond to the tooth, less of the tooth’s structure often must be removed before the filling is placed. Therefore, the tooth can keep its original shape and structure.

        Hillsborough Prime Dental Fillings & Services

        When you desire the natural look of your teeth but don’t have enough room for all six blades, tooth-colored restorations (fillings) can be a terrific solution. Every person has the right to a beautiful and healthy smile, and we will do all within our power to help you achieve it.

        Besides dental fillings and exams, we also offer other dental services, including restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, emergency dentistry, dental crowns, and more, at our Hillsborough, NJ, location.

        Interestingly, we work with various PPOs and insurance providers and offer cutting-edge dental care to our patients. Hillsborough Prime Dental is continually modernizing to provide the highest standard of care to our patients.

        Call us today at 908-359-8555 or book an appointment online to make the most of our dental services.

        Alternatively, you can visit our office in person at 312 US-206, Hillsborough Township, NJ.

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