Discover the ins and outs of dental filling options, from tooth-colored resins to traditional amalgam, and make informed decisions about your oral health
Exploring Dental Filling Choices
When it comes to addressing a cavity, it's crucial to recognize your autonomy in selecting the appropriate treatments and materials for your dental health, following a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will evaluate your cavity's size and location, tailoring the choice of materials accordingly. You might also want to consider cosmetic aspects, longevity, insurance coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses. The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages an open dialogue with your dentist to collaboratively determine the most suitable material for your needs.
Here are some prevalent options for dental fillings:
Composite Resins (Tooth-Colored Fillings)
These fillings consist of a blend of glass or quartz filler, providing excellent durability and resistance to small to mid-size fillings that endure moderate chewing pressure. They can be applied to both anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth.
Dental Amalgam (Commonly known as "Silver-Colored" Fillings)
Dental amalgam is composed of various metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Dentists have been using amalgam for generations. It is highly durable and cost-effective compared to tooth-colored or gold fillings. However, tooth-colored materials offer a more natural appearance.
Gold Fillings (Inlays or Onlays)
Gold fillings, also referred to as inlays or onlays, are made from a gold, copper, and other metal alloy. Gold has been a staple in dentistry for over a millennium due to its exceptional durability. Nonetheless, gold fillings are more expensive than amalgam and lack the natural aesthetic of tooth-colored fillings.