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Different Types Of Fillings for Cavities

Posted on 6/3/2024 by Dagon Jones DDS
3D rendering of three teeth each with a different dental filling materialWhen you were a kid, you most likely did not have a choice about the type of filling you got to treat a cavity. Depending on how old you are now, your filling may be silver, gold, or white to match your tooth. There are actually different types of fillings, and you and our dentist can make a decision together about which one is right for you.

Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have been used by dentists all over the world for decades. Silver is reliable, and it is less expensive than gold fillings. However, many people do not like to have silver fillings in their mouths because they are easier to see than other filling types. Also, many people believe all silver fillings contain mercury. While 50-year-old silver fillings may contain a bit of mercury, modern silver fillings do not. Most silver fillings last between five and 20 years, so there is a chance you will have to have them replaced as they age. If dentists use silver fillings, they are more likely to use the silver in your back teeth, which are less visible than your front teeth.

Composite Fillings

Dental composite fillings are a great way to have a cavity filled and have the tooth still look natural. Dental composite is created out of polymers that are water-resistant and durable. They tend to be a bit more expensive than silver fillings. A dental composite can be used to fill a cavity in both your highly visible front teeth and your molar back teeth.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

If you get a cavity in one of your front teeth, our dentist might use a glass ionomer filling. These fillings have a bit more shine to them than traditional silver or composite fillings, so they are perfect for your shiny front teeth. However, they are not made to handle a lot of bite stress, so ionomer fillings do not work on back teeth, such as premolars and molars. Glass ionomer fillings also do not last as long as other fillings. You can expect to have a glass ionomer filling for between five and ten years.

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