How to Pick the Right Fillings for Your Teeth

When it comes time to fix a cavity, most people think of the drill and the filling. But what kind of white tooth filling should you choose for your tooth? There are many different types of fillings available these days, from amalgam to resin. And each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of bonding and white filling and help you pick the right one for your teeth! As you read, you’ll learn what each type of filling entails in terms of material, appearance, longevity, and other defining factors, and then we’ll walk you through the process of choosing which is best for you.

Know Your Dental Filling Options

Most people understand what a filling itself entails. In essence, this is a type of tooth restoration that is placed over a decayed or damaged section of the tooth to protect the natural remaining material while restoring functionality and integrity. The thing that many people don’t realize is that there are several different types of fillings, and they have a choice as to which one they want on their teeth.

There are several materials you can choose from for an effective, modern-day filling, including:

  • Gold
  • Silver Amalgam
  • Composite Resin
  • Ceramic
  • Glass ionomers

Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks you’ll want to consider and will become key in the next step of what you prioritize in dental filling.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings aren’t as popular as some of the other materials listed here, but they are undoubtedly one of the most durable filling options available.

Because gold does not corrode or tarnish over time like other metals, these fillings tend to outlast other options by several years. Of course, because gold is a precious metal, it is also one of the most expensive filling options, partially because getting a gold filling requires multiple dental visits.

It is also important to keep in mind that a gold filling will stand out strikingly against the white of your teeth, so you’ll have to decide if you want this dental aesthetic statement or if you want a material that will blend in more naturally.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are a cheaper alternative to gold that still have the visual impact some people might be looking for in a filling. As opposed to gold fillings, amalgam fillings can be made from several metals, including:

  • Copper
  • Mercury
  • Zinc
  • Silver
  • Tin

The most significant pro of opting for an amalgam filling, particularly made of silver, is that the metals tend to be extremely durable and long-lasting.

However, a significant con of this filling is that its materials can be potentially hazardous to one’s health (mercury being the most common concern), in addition to the fillings often discoloring over time and causing micro-fractures radiating from the restoration that can be expensive to fix.

Composite Resin Fillings

Arguably the most popular filling option used nowadays is a composite resin filling for its ability to match the natural color of your teeth.

In addition to being specially customized to each patient’s teeth, many people enjoy that composite resin filling is much less invasive than other types of fillings because they require minimal to no drilling. They are also the most convenient option as most composite fillings procedures only take one visit.

As far as cons are concerned, this isn’t the cheapest filling option or the most durable. Typically, composite resin fillings need to be replaced every 5-7 years, and although they initially match your teeth’s natural color, it isn’t uncommon for this material to discolor or stain over time as well, resulting in a less cohesive appearance.

Ceramic Fillings

Also known as porcelain fillings, ceramic fillings are another excellent option for people who want a filling that will blend in with the rest of their teeth. This durable material is commonly used in dental crowns as well as fillings and can last up to 15 years when maintained properly.

In terms of cost, ceramic fillings are up there with gold fillings as one of the most expensive options. While you get an aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting filling at this high cost, you will want to keep in mind that ceramic fillings might take multiple sessions to acquire and have the potential to wear down opposing teeth when the material becomes too rough.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

Also known as acrylic fillings, glass ionomer fillings aren’t usually the first choice for adults since they aren’t capable of lasting more than five years even with ideal care. That being said, they are the ideal choice for children, especially if the child has few adult teeth, meaning their cavity-bearing tooth will fall out in the near future regardless.

In addition to being a cost-effective option, glass ionomer fillings are also well-renowned for containing fluoride, which is effective in preventing additional tooth decay. As a result, they might not be the best option for longevity, but one could argue they are best at protecting your damaged and surrounding teeth.

Decide What You Prioritize Most in a Filling

Now that we’ve given you a run-down of all your filling options and what they entail as far as pros and cons, it’s time to compare each option to what you prioritize most in a filling.

The most common factors people prioritize in fillings include:

  • Cost (short-term and/or long-term)
  • Longevity
  • Appearance
  • Comfort

You’ll want to rank these priorities in terms of which you deem most important and then match them to the most suitable filling option. For example, if you prioritize cost and comfort, glass ionomer fillings might be best. If longevity and comfort are your top priorities, you’ll probably want the customized composite resin fillings.

The appearance will depend on if you want fillings that blend in or stand out. Both gold and amalgam fillings are known for being durable and will definitely stand out if that’s what you’re looking for. However, these aren’t always the most comfortable fillings. Ceramic fillings will blend in much better with the rest of your teeth, comparably, but they too can cause discomfort over time.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which filling is best, apart from matching them with your priorities, is to ask a dental expert at Highland Park Family Dentistry in New Jersey, we offer comprehensive services guaranteed to meet all your oral health needs and begin your journey to a new smile. Contact Lasting Smiles of Highland Park to schedule your appointment or call at (732)777-9077.