How to Choose the Right Type of Dental Filling for Your Tooth

How to Choose the Right Type of Dental Filling for Your Tooth

January 4, 2024

If you have a cavity, you may need to get a dental filling to restore your tooth and prevent further decay. A dental filling in Jackson, MI, is a material that fills the hole or space left by the removal of the decayed part of your tooth. Different types of dental fillings are available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. How do you choose the right type of dental filling for your tooth?

Here are some factors to consider:

  • The location and size of the cavity. Some types of fillings are more suitable for certain areas of the mouth than others. For example, if you have a cavity on a front tooth that is visible when you smile, you may want to choose a tooth-colored filling, such as composite resin or ceramic, that can blend in with your natural tooth. If you have a cavity on a back tooth that is subjected to more chewing pressure, you may want to choose a stronger and more durable filling, such as metal or porcelain, that can withstand the force.
  • The cost and durability of the filling. Some types of fillings are more expensive than others, depending on the material, the complexity of the procedure, and your dental insurance coverage. You should check with the dentist near you and your insurance company before getting a filling to know the exact price and what is covered. You should also consider how long the filling will last and how often it will need to be replaced. Generally, metal fillings, such as gold or silver amalgam, are cheaper and last longer than tooth-colored fillings, such as composite resin or ceramic. However, metal fillings may also require more tooth preparation, which means more enamel removal and more sensitivity.
  • The appearance and aesthetics of the filling. Some types of fillings are more natural-looking and attractive than others, depending on your personal preference and the color of your teeth. Tooth-colored fillings, like composite resin or ceramic, can equal the shade and shape of your teeth and create a seamless smile. Metal fillings, like gold or silver amalgam, can stand out and contrast with your teeth, which may affect your self-confidence and appearance. However, some people may prefer the look of metal fillings, especially gold, as they can add a hint of allure and elegance to their smile.
  • The safety and compatibility of the filling. Some types of fillings may cause allergic reactions or sensitivity in some people, depending on the material and the individual’s health condition. For example, some people may be allergic or sensitive to mercury, which is a component of silver amalgam fillings. Mercury can also pose some environmental and health risks, as it can leak from the fillings and contaminate the water supply or the body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends against giving mercury fillings to certain high-risk people whenever possible and appropriate, such as pregnant or nursing women, children under 6, or people with certain neurological or kidney diseases. You should consult with your dentist and your doctor before getting a filling to make sure that it is safe and compatible for you.

Different types of dental fillings and their pros and cons:

  • Composite resin. It is a type of tooth-colored filling made of a combination of plastic and glass particles. It is bonded to the tooth with a special light and can be shaped and polished to match the tooth. Composite resin fillings are favored because they are aesthetic, versatile, and minimally invasive. However, they are also more prone to staining, chipping, and wear and tear than other types of fillings. They also tend to be more expensive and less durable than metal fillings and may need to be replaced more often.
  • Ceramic. It is another type of tooth-colored filling made of porcelain or other ceramic materials. It is usually fabricated in a dental laboratory and then cemented to the tooth. Ceramic fillings are also aesthetic, resistant to staining, and biocompatible. However, they are also more brittle, abrasive, and costly than other types of fillings. They also require more tooth preparation and may need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Metal. It is a filling type made of various metals, such as gold, silver, copper, tin, or zinc. It is either cast in a dental laboratory and then cemented to the tooth or mixed and packed into the tooth directly. Metal fillings are strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion and wear and tear. They can last for many years and require less maintenance than tooth-colored fillings. However, they are also more noticeable, expensive, and invasive than other types of fillings. They may also cause allergic reactions, sensitivity, or discoloration in some people.
  • Glass ionomer. It is a type of filling made of a mixture of glass and acrylic. It is placed into the tooth while it is still soft and then hardened with a chemical reaction. Glass ionomer fillings are tooth-colored, biodegradable, and can release fluoride to prevent decay. They are often used for children’s teeth, root surfaces, or small cavities. However, they are also weak, prone to cracking, and less aesthetic than other types of fillings. They also have a shorter lifespan and may need to be replaced more often.

Choosing the right type of dental filling near you for your tooth depends on many factors, such as your oral health, budget, preferences, and dentist’s recommendations. Each type of filling has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should consider them cautiously before deciding. You should also consult with your dentist and ask them any questions you may have about the procedure, the costs, the risks, and the benefits of getting a dental filling.

A dental filling can be a superb way to revitalize your tooth and prevent further decay, as long as you choose the one that suits you best. If you are looking for a professional and affordable dental clinic that offers dental fillings and other dental services, you can visit Iocca Family Dentistry. They have a team of qualified and experienced dentists who can help you achieve your oral health goals.