The materials used for fillings depend on the extent of the repair, whether the patient has certain allergies or preferences, the location within the mouth and the cost. Below is a list of the common filling materials and a brief discussion of each.
Gold fillings are custom made in a dental lab. Many dental authorities consider gold as the best of the filling materials because of its well tolerance by the gum tissue and its durability. However, gold is the most expensive of the materials and requires multiple dental visits.
An alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc amalgams are the most common and the least expensive. Amalgam fillings are also resistant to wear. However, due to their dark color, these fillings are noticeable within the mouth and are not used in visible repair areas.
Resins are colored to the natural teeth for use in visible areas. Resin fillings are not as durable as gold or amalgams and become easily stained from coffee, tea and tobacco products. In addition, resin fillings are not ideal for large fillings as they are also prone to cracking and chipping.
Porcelain fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are custom made in a dental lab. They are matched to the color of natural teeth and are resistant to stains. A porcelain restoration usually covers most of the tooth at a cost similar to gold fillings.
During a regular dental exam, the dentist uses a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth. Any abnormalities are then closely checked with other instruments and x-rayed.
The type of treatment the dentist ultimately recommends will depend upon the extent and the location of the damage.
If you would like a consultation for additional information on the procedure and the materials used for dental fillings, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Urban Smiles Dental, located in Chicago, where new patients are always welcome.
Urban Smiles Dental is trusted and highly recommended for dental filling procedures, as well as treatments and procedures in general and restorative dentistry.