If you had a cavity as a child and had to get a filling, chances are it was silver. There have been many advances in dental care since then and these days you can get dental fillings in a variety of colors, including white fillings (composite), ceramic and glass fillings. With years of experience, Dr. Mileidis Pena Marro can help you decide on the right general, cosmetic and restorative dental procedures, including dental fillings.
Need to find a family dentist who can provide care for you and your children? Call (786) 847-0123 to schedule an appointment with Truedent Family Dentistry in Miami, FL today.
Types of Dental Fillings
Although you may practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing at least twice a day and getting regular dental checkups, you may still wind up with cavities. If you do, you will be happy to know that you have a number of options when it comes to dental fillings. Here are some of the most popular options.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
If you are a “little” older, chances are you received an amalgam filling as a child. These are the so-called “silver” fillings that you remember. Amalgam dental fillings have been around for more than a hundred years and are popular because they are very strong and able to withstand the pressure of chewing. They are most often used for back teeth and molars for this reason. They are called “amalgam” because they are composed of several different metallic elements.
Advantages of amalgam fillings:
- Long lasting – They usually last 10-15 years (longer than tooth-colored fillings)
- Strength – Designed to withstand the pressure of biting and chewing
- Cost-effective – Silver amalgam fillings are less expensive than composite (white or clear) fillings
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite fillings are sometimes called “white” fillings. Actually, they are “tooth-colored” as opposed to silver amalgam fillings. They are made of composite resin, which is put into the cavity while it is still soft and then hardened with a blue “curing” light. Although you will enjoy the benefits of avoiding a mouth full of silver, composite fillings tend not to last as long.
Advantages of tooth-colored fillings:
- Aesthetics – Since the resin matches the tooth color, composite fillings are not as visible
- Bonding – The resin can also act as a bonding agent to strengthen and support the tooth to help prevent further damage.
- Versatile – Composite resin can also be used to repair chipped, broken or worn teeth
Another “tooth-colored” option, ceramic fillings are usually made with hard materials like porcelain. Although the hard surface is less likely to develop stains, they are more expensive.
Advantages of ceramic fillings:
- Durable – They generally last more than 15 years
Glass Ionomer Fillings
This advanced type of filling is made with a combination of glass and acrylic. They can be a good option for younger children whose teeth are still developing and changing. They only last five years, but have the added benefit of releasing fluoride to help prevent more cavities in the future. The downside is they are not as strong as composite fillings and are more likely to crack and need to be replaced.
Advantages of glass fillings:
- Future cavity prevention – Glass fillings release fluoride to ward off more tooth decay.
Another option in metal fillings, gold is sort of the Rolls Royce of dental fillings. They are more expensive than silver fillings and are not always offered by dentists. Plus, gold fillings require multiple visits to the dentist.
Advantages of gold fillings:
- Extremely durable – They can last 10-15 years
- Will not corrode
- Strong enough to withstand the force of chewing without cracking
- Pleasing aesthetically
Fillings and Your Teeth
Cavities are a fact of life for many. Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to dental fillings, from silver amalgam to composite (white fillings) and ceramic. If you have questions about your oral health or dental fillings, call Dr. Marro of Truedent Family Dentistry in Miami, FL at (786) 847-0123 or make an appointment online today.