Which Filling Is Right For You?

Your dentist will typically recommend a filling if one or more of your teeth has developed a cavity as it means that it is likely to decay further. Very small holes in the enamel of teeth can close up if you continue to brush your teeth well with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. This ingredient helps to remineralise teeth, which means they get harder. It can also help small cavities eventually disappear. However, if your dentist says you need a filling, the hole will have grown to a size where the closing of its own accord is no longer likely. A filling will plug the gap so that further decay on the inside of the tooth will not occur. There are three main filling options your dentist may offer you. 

Gold Fillings

One of the big advantages that are associated with cast gold fillings is that they will last a very long time. A 15-year lifespan can be expected of gold fillings. What's more, many dentists like them for filling molars, which are used for chewing. This is because gold is often able to better withstand the forces that are exerted by the jaw through your molars. Besides, many people like the look of gold fillings. That said, they are more expensive than other options and they may cause a galvanic shock if they are placed close to silver amalgam fillings.

Amalgam Fillings

Sometimes called silver amalgam fillings, this type is less expensive than gold. If you choose this option, then you can also expect your dentist to provide you with a very durable filling that will last at least a decade in most cases. One of the drawbacks of this sort of filling is that it does not look very natural. When you see a silvery-grey amalgam filling, it always stands out against the natural whiteness of healthy teeth. Furthermore, some extra material may need to be drilled out by your dentist from the tooth to accommodate a filling of this type.

Composite Fillings

Because they are white, composite fillings offer the most natural look of any type. Indeed, they can be coloured to match the exact appearance of your teeth. When applied to decaying teeth, they help to provide more structural support than other types of fillings. Additionally, they can be used to repair chipped teeth as well as function as a filling. One of the major downsides is their longevity, however. Composite fillings generally will last around five years. The procedure can also take longer to carry out than it would with amalgam fillings.

Contact a dentist for more information.