When a tooth has minor disease or injury, we can usually repair it with a tooth colored restoration, or filling. At Ascent Family Dental, we use only top quality material and clinically proven techniques. We take the time and use materials that help us remove disease, decontaminate the tooth, and then restore your tooth to proper form and function – all with a cosmetically pleasing result. Often you can’t tell where the filling ends, and the tooth begins!
Materials Used in Tooth Colored Restorations
Fillings can be made from a wide range of materials. No one material is the best, and the right choice for one person may not be the best choice for you. Materials used in fillings include:
- Composite resins: These are a great option if you’re looking for a natural appearance. Composite resin fillings are matched to your own natural tooth color, so they often blend seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. This type of filling is mixed and then placed directly into cavities. These may not be ideal for large fillings, and composite resin fillings are subject to chipping and staining.
- Amalgam: Also known as silver fillings. This material is exceptionally durable and affordable, but more noticeable than composite or porcelain filings. Because of their dark color, amalgam fillings are best suited for restorations in the back of the mouth. They are also subject to chipping and in our experience are associated with higher chances of cracked teeth.
- Gold fillings: This material is specially made in a laboratory before being cemented in place by your dentist. Gold fillings can last more than 20 years and are well tolerated by gums. For this reason, many dental experts consider this the best filing material. This material is more expensive than other options and requires multiple visits, so it’s not the best option for every patient.
- Porcelain fillings: Commonly called inlays or onlays. Porcelain restorations are first made in a lab and then bonded to your tooth. Many patients prefer this material because it can be matched to their own natural tooth color and is resistant to staining. However, the cost of this filling material is similar to gold fillings.
The cost, location of the filling, and allergies to certain materials all need to be taken into consideration when choosing a material for your filling.
Advantages to Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are created using a mixture of powdered glass and plastic. This mixture looks just like your own natural teeth and can greatly improve the look of your smile. Composite fillings are often used to restore decayed teeth, close gaps between teeth, and repair chipped teeth. There are many advantages to choosing composite fillings.
- Natural appearance: This filling material can be colored to look just like your natural teeth.
- Easy to place: Less drilling is required, and less of the tooth structure needs to be removed.
- Strengthens teeth: Because the material bonds to your tooth, it helps strengthen your teeth and prevents chipping or breaking.
- Quick hardening: Composite hardens much quicker than other filling materials.
- Sustainable: Unlike other filling materials, composite resin can be repaired if damaged.
Benefits of Porcelain Restorations (Inlays or Onlays)
Porcelain fillings are custom-made in a laboratory and shaped to fit perfectly inside of the affected tooth. They’re ideal for larger cavities and look just like your natural teeth. Once cemented in place, porcelain fillings will help stop decay and make your surrounding teeth more stable. There are many benefits to choosing porcelain filings, including:
- Cosmetic: Porcelain is resistant to staining and chipping, and has a natural appearance.
- Easy to clean: Because these fillings are custom-made to fit your tooth, they are much easier to clean than other restoration options, such as crowns, which cover the whole tooth.
- Stable: Porcelain is an excellent material for filings as it provides increased stability and helps strengthen the damaged tooth.
- Durable: Unlike other filling materials, porcelain is exceptionally durable and can last for several years with proper care.
With so many choices to consider, finding the right material for your tooth colored restoration can be a difficult task. Your dentist can help you decide which option is the best choice for you. Dr. Scott Williams of Ascent Family Dental would be happy to discuss your options and help you find the best filing for your teeth.