Although the idea of getting a filling doesn’t leave many patients excited, modern dentistry has made the process easier, quicker, and more pain free than ever before. Furthermore, many scientific advancements have been made which allow our patients to have stronger, natural-looking, and longer-lasting fillings. In this blog, our Ventura dentist explains the pros and cons of the most widely used filling materials.
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When it comes to fillings, gold has long been considered to be the “gold standard” for materials. These fillings have many benefits, as they are tough and non-corrosive, which lead them to last for more than 15 years! However, gold is far more expensive than most other filling options, and will require multiple visits to be correctly fitted.
For many years, silver amalgams were the go-to alternative to gold fillings. This is because they offer similar characteristics such as a high degree of strength and durability, but at a fraction of the cost. These fillings can also expand or contract in response to heat, so it is possible for them to crack the tooth. However, this can typically be avoided by a high quality Ventura dentist. Although the name indicates that this material is silver, it is actually a mixture of silver with other metals such as tin, zinc, and mercury.
One of the most popular options today are composite fillings, which are a resin material made from plastic and glass. Although they typically do not last as long as metal fillings, they are quite strong and are colored to match your teeth. This results in a much more natural look that many patients prefer. They are a bit more expensive than amalgam fillings, but still much cheaper than gold.
Another tooth-colored filling option is ceramic or porcelain fillings. These are very strong, typically lasting longer than composite materials. Unfortunately, the cost is typically more comparable to gold fillings than any other material. They are more fragile than composites or metals, however, and can break or crack if not properly placed. Our Ventura dentist is also a master ceramist, giving him the unique ability to place a perfectly fitted ceramic filling.
Glass ionomers are actually very similar to composite materials, as they are made of acrylic and a certain component of glass. Many glass ionomers are also reinforced with resin to improve their strength. This material is actually commonly used as a “cement” to secure inlay fillings, which are essentially fillings that are built outside of the mouth and inserted later. This material is also regularly used for fillings in front teeth, or for fillings below the gum line.
Our Ventura dentist’s office takes pride in providing patients with the highest possible standard of dental care. Call (805) 295-8896 today to learn more!