Having a cavity is no laughing matter. Besides the toothache, it can also lead to more permanent damage and costs.  It’s important to see your dentist and have that cavity filled. But what type of cavity filling is best for you? That depends. A variety of materials are used to create the dental fillings that dentists use to restore and protect damaged teeth. What are the pros and cons of these materials? We’ll go over each time of cavity filling material which should help you determine which one is right for your smile.

Composite Fillings
A composite filling is a popular choice. Normally made of powdered glass and acrylic resin, this type of dental filling can be shaded to match the teeth surrounding it, making it nearly invisible. It’s also a direct filling, which means that it can be fitted directly to the tooth in a single visit. While they aren’t quite as strong as metal fillings, composite fillings are durable and blend in beautifully with your grin.

Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings are inexpensive, strong and enduring. They’ve been used for more than 150 years, but they are falling out of favor with both dentists and patients. Part of the reason is their distinctive silver coloration. It tends to get darker with age and is hard to miss since it looks so different from a normal tooth. To make matters worse, an amalgam filling contains mercury, an element known to have negative effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems. In fact, many people are opting to have their amalgam fillings replaced with fillings made from alternate materials.

Resin or Glass Ionomer Fillings
Resin or glass ionomer fillings are somewhat delicate. They typically only last about 5 years, so they are generally used when baby teeth need small fillings. In some cases, they are used for fillings below the gum line.

Gold Fillings
A cast gold tooth filling can last more than a decade. It’s strong, and some people like the look of it. However, going this route for a cavity filling is more expensive. It also tends to be more involved because a gold filling is an indirect filling. With indirect fillings, an impression is made of the space where the filling will go and sent to a lab, which creates a custom filling. The patient returns for a second visit to have their filling placed.

Porcelain or Ceramic Fillings
Like gold fillings, porcelain and ceramic fillings are pricier than other filling materials. They’re also indirect fillings, so multiple visits are required to fit and place them. However, there are a couple of key differences between fillings made from these materials and ones made from gold. Porcelain and ceramic are no match for gold’s strength. However, they can be crafted to match your existing teeth in color, so they are far less noticeable than metal fillings.

Is a tooth giving you trouble? Whether it’s a new issue or an existing filling that is causing the problem, Wekiva Dental can help. Offering both general and cosmetic dentistry services in the Orlando area, we understand the value of healthy smiles. When you have a concern about your oral health, we have the expertise, skill and technology to deliver the quality care that you deserve. Contact us today at 407-869-7333 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.