The dental cavity is a common problem among adults. With a change in food habits and lack of dental hygiene, it is slowly becoming an issue for children too. A dentist will inspect the affected teeth and recommend a dental filling. It will prevent the tooth from further decay and spreading of the problem to the adjacent tooth.
There are different types of dental fillings available. The dentist will provide you with the filling you prefer. Besides. S/he can suggest the best type of filling that will suit your teeth, depending on the condition of the teeth and your medical history. Normally, people choose a dental filling that suits their budget.
Let us have a look at the different types of dental fillings available.
Amalgam Silver fillings
Amalgam Silver fillings are the most common type of filling. It is more affordable than any other type of filling, thus making it popular among the common public. Dental amalgam, also known as silver amalgam because of its silver-like appearance, is a mixture of metals comprising liquid mercury and a powdered alloy made of silver, tin, and copper. The chemical properties of elemental mercury enable it to react with the silver/tin/copper alloy particles together to form an amalgam. Though dental amalgam fillings are durable and strong than other types of fillings, they are said to have some potential risk factors also. Dental amalgam releases low amounts of mercury in the form of a vapour which can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury exposure may badly affect the brain and the kidneys. Though clinical studies in adults and children above age six have found no association between amalgam fillings and health problems, pregnant women and parents with kids under six who are concerned about the lack of clinical data regarding long-term health outcomes should talk to their dentist.
The ceramic filling is more expensive than most of the other fillings. This can be done inlay or onlay. The material used is porcelain and it offers better durability. Since the tone is similar to natural teeth, others will not be able to identify it as a filling. Further, the ceramic filling has better resistance to stains and abrasions.
The brittle nature of porcelain is a negative aspect concerning ceramic filling. Therefore, dentists use a larger quantity than other types of filling. By creating more space in the tooth, they fill the extra quantity. This will ensure the longevity of the filling.
Composite Filling (Teeth-coloured)
Composite fillings are costlier than Amalgam fillings and cheaper than ceramic type. It is also of the colour of the tooth. The shape and size can match exactly like the existing tooth. Since the filling is tooth-coloured, it has better aesthetic appeal than Amalgam fillings.
The durability of the composite filling is lesser than Amalgam fillings. Also, it will take more time for the dentist to fix it than the Amalgam type. Hence, more people prefer Amalgam fillings or Ceramic fillings to a composite filling.
Glass Ionomer Filling
A mixture of Glass and Acrylic is used for the preparation of Glass Ionomer fillings. This type of filling has less longevity than any other type of filling. Hence, it is commonly used for children. The fillings will release Fluoride frequently, which is beneficial for teeth in preventing further decay.
The Glass-Ionomer filling has a colour similar to teeth but does not match as precisely as a composite filling. The charge for this type of filling is also similar to a composite filling. Therefore, there are not many takers for this type of dental filling.
Gold filling is another type of tooth filling, which is not common. The gold filling has better durability and strength. Some believe that gold will give an elegant appearance. On the other hand, another lot rejects gold filling due to the same reason.
Gold filling is too costly. It will take at least a couple of visits to the dentist to fix the filling. Thus, consuming more time than any other type of filling.
You must consult an experienced dentist for dental fillings. They can advise you on the best possible option that will be appropriate for your budget too. It has to be done with utmost care and perfection. Else, the fillings may come out or turn defective, causing unwarranted problems.
The dental specialist will inspect your teeth, examine your medical history, and suggest the best type of filling. However, ensure that you follow a strict annual inspection schedule for your teeth. It will help you in identifying the problems in advance. This is essential even though you have a perfect set of teeth. A qualified dentist can ascertain the probability of a cavity from the symptoms.