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Different Types of Tooth Fillings
When tooth decay has begun to eat away at a tooth, the only option for the dentist is to remove the decay and fill the hole caused by the damage. Generally, the best way to repair the damage that the tooth decay has caused to the tooth is by placing a tooth filling.
What Tooth Fillings Are
Tooth fillings are dental prosthetics that fill the area of a tooth that has either sustained damage due to injury, or has been eaten away by tooth decay. There are different types of tooth fillings that can be used, but they all have the same goal—to restore the functionality of the damaged tooth.
Why Tooth Fillings?
Tooth fillings are extremely important after cavities are dealt with, as they make the tooth durable and strong again. They also help to prevent decay from returning. Some sort of repair option is absolutely necessary once a tooth is damaged, and fillings offer an excellent level of repair with an incredible level of functionality. Most patients find that their fillings go completely unnoticed, and they forget that the fillings are even there.
The Types of Tooth Fillings
When people think of tooth fillings, they often think of amalgam fillings because of their popularity. In reality, there are different types of tooth fillings, all with their advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the most popular types of tooth fillings.
Tooth Filling Type #1: Composite Resin
Composite resin fillings are made with a mixture of fine glass particles and plastic. Generally these types of fillings last at least 5 years. One of the major advantages of composite resin is their ability to match the color and shade of the tooth that is being filling. The negatives to composite resin are the possibility of them shrinking, and their cost being higher than amalgam.
Tooth Filling Type #2: Amalgam
Amalgam fillings are a very popular type of tooth filling. These fillings are made from a mixture of zinc, copper, silver, tin and mercury. Amalgam fillings will often last at least 10 years, and often much longer. They are extremely durable, and are among the most affordable options. One of the major disadvantages is the color, which will not match the tooth that is being repaired.
Tooth Filling Type #3: Cast Gold
Cast gold fillings are among the most durable types of fillings, and can often last 15 years or longer. These fillings are made with a gold alloy that is mixed with other metals. Because of their durability—and the fact that they are made of gold—cast gold fillings are among the most expensive.
Tooth Filling Type #4: Ceramics
Ceramic fillings are made with porcelain, and can blend very well with the tooth that is being repaired. They are also one of the most expensive options. Ceramics often last 7 years or longer, and are not as durable as composite resin and gold.
Choosing the Right Type of Tooth Filling
Speak with your dentist about which type of tooth filling is right for your budget and your particular preferences.
More About Dental Fillings : How much does a filling cost?
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