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What Types of Fillings Should You Get?

Posted on 10/15/2016 by Mark Bieber
A patient receiving a dental filling.
When you suffer from tooth decay, a cavity forms. This cavity needs to be filled, otherwise you face other potential problems. Left empty, the cavity could get worse. It can cause you a significant amount of pain.

The tooth could get destroyed, falling out or requiring extraction. You may also experience an abscess, which could cause infection, or bone loss. There are a variety of different types of fillings available, so which one should you get?

Amalgam Fillings

An amalgam filling is a common filling, and is a mixture of different materials - including zinc, silver, tin and mercury. The mercury, which is not harmful, is what holds all of the different materials together. Because of the specific elements used, an amalgam filling is silver in color, so it doesn't match your natural teeth.

For this reason, it often used to fill cavities in the back teeth. It is strong, able to withstand the forces of chewing, and can last ten years or more. It is also the least expensive filling available.

Composite Resin Fillings

Another common filling is a composite resin, made of plastic and fine glass. It is applied in one of two ways. The direct method means the dentist applies the material to your tooth and uses blue light to harden it. The indirect method means that an impression is taken and the filling made in a lab.

A second visit is required to cement the filling in. Composite resin fillings match the color of your teeth and are therefore often used on visible teeth. They are more expensive than amalgam fillings, but they require less drilling.

Gold Fillings

Gold alloy fillings are quite strong, often lasting at least fifteen years. They also don't corrode. But these fillings don't match your teeth's natural color and they are quite expensive.

When you suffer from tooth decay, cavities should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid more severe problems. What type of filling you get is dependent upon your specific needs, wants and budget. Contact us to discuss your options.

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