A filling helps restore a damaged tooth from decay. It protects it from bacteria and brings the tooth back to its normal shape. Dentists will consider many different factors when it comes to choosing which type of filling is best for you.
Here are a few types of fillings your dentist may recommend:
Composite Fillings – Composite fillings are a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles used mostly on visible areas of the tooth. They bond directly to your tooth reducing the amount of drilling needed. This type of filling matches the natural color of your teeth and is much stronger than amalgam fillings.
Ceramic Fillings –Ceramic fillings are tooth colored and are made of porcelain. They are more brittle than composite fillings and can break. However, they are more resistant to staining. Ceramic fillings are also quite expensive and can cost as much or more than gold fillings.
Amalgam Fillings – Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals such as mercury and silver. Unlike composite fillings, they do not match the color of your teeth. This type of filling is very strong, usually used on back teeth. Amalgam fillings last at least ten years if not longer.
Glass Ionomer – Glass Ionomer fillings are made from acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate (a component of glass). This type of filling is used when a lot of decay extends below the gums. It can also be used for filling baby teeth.
Gold Fillings – Gold fillings are extremely durable and last a lot longer than any other type of filling. It does not match the natural color of your teeth and is quite expensive. They usually cost six to ten times more than amalgam fillings.