As a filling dentist in Alpharetta, we use tooth-colored fillings on a regular basis in order to restore missing tooth structure. Before you get your first filling, or if you would like to improve your current fillings, you should know the options that are available. You would be surprised at the variety of choices with differing levels of durability, resiliency, color, and cost. Let us walk you through the many possibilities so you can choose the best filling match for you.
One of the oldest filling options is a cast gold filling. Gold fillings are very reliable, long-lasting, attractive and will not erode away like other fillings forms. In some cases, it may take two appointments until filling completion, but the integrity of the filling makes it worth the time. If you decide to go with a gold filling, you may want to only use them for the molar region of your mouth. Since they are not tooth-colored, gold fillings will stand out more than a composite option. Another quality that deters some patients is the expense. Gold fillings are more expensive than some other options, but the quality is hard to match.
A second option is silver amalgam. Silver fillings are also very durable and enduring. These affordable fillings do require a bit more drilling so that the metal to fit into place like it is supposed to. Some people like to avoid this process, especially if they have a minimally invasive cavity. Silver fillings are also not a first choice for eye appeal. If you are having molars filled, this should not be a problem. Silver fillings are not as expensive as gold fillings and are almost as resilient. This is a huge pro for many people. As a filling dentist in Alpharetta, we find that many patients have gotten this type of filling in the past and are now looking to replace them with a natural-looking option, something we can help with.
Ceramic and/or porcelain fillings are a wonderful tooth colored option. They are resistant and attractive. Ceramic fillings or crowns are normally reserved for larger areas of decay because, like silver amalgams, they require more space to stay in place effectively. Because of this requirement, you may lose more of your natural tooth. Ceramic fillings are slightly more breakable than other options, but they are much more appealing than silver and gold fillings and normally last close to ten years or more.
Glass ionomers are a common option for areas of your tooth that aren’t used in chewing. They are made of a more fragile substance so they cannot hold up under daily weight. Glass ionomers are often put in tooth decay around your gums or between teeth. Some pros to glass ionomers are the excretion of fluoride it provides over time and the aesthetic value. This option, however, is used rarely and we typically recommend natural, tooth-colored filling instead.
Composite resin fillings are the most common option that our patients select. These fillings can be placed in any size cavity. They provide an attractive, tooth-colored solution to areas that are seen on a daily basis. Composite resin fillings are also fairly resilient and can stand up to consistent grating and chewing. Composite resin may not last as long as cast gold or silver amalgam, but the ease and attractiveness normally outweigh this issue.
As a filling dentist in Alpharetta, we hope we have helped you distinguish which option may be right for your tooth improvement. If you have further questions, we invite you to visit our dentist office.