Learn about the different types of fillings available at Applecross Dental.
When you think about fillings, do you picture unsightly silver? Did you know that virtually all of the fillings done in our office are composite (white) fillings, which are usually invisible? It’s true!
Other filling materials we can use are usually by request of the patient. Keep reading to learn about the different types of filling materials available to you.
Composite fillings are stronger, easier to work with, and more natural looking than they have ever been. They consist of 70–85% glass (silica) in a matrix of a resin (Bis-GMA), a few other bio-compatible chemicals, plus a photo initiator.
Composite fillings do not contain BPA.
Composite is time consuming to place and complex to work with. As well, the material itself is a lot more expensive. For these reasons, the fee for composite fillings is higher than the fee for amalgam (silver) fillings, but we feel the long-term benefits are well worth the minor investment.
Some dental insurance companies may not fully cover composites on molars.
Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for over 1300 years. They are a metal alloy consisting of approximately 50% mercury and 30% silver, with smaller amounts of other metals such as copper and tin.
Amalgams were first mentioned in the year 659 in China and 1528 in Germany.
Amalgam can be durable and may last as a filling up to 20-25 years – sometimes even longer. It is easy to work with and relatively inexpensive.
On the other hand, amalgam expands over time, and therefore will eventually crack the tooth. Another concern is that very small amounts of mercury vapour can be released with chewing. Some of this mercury will be absorbed by the body.
Amalgam fillings are cheaper than composites, but only in the short term. Amalgam fillings are also, well, ugly. We always try to encourage patients who are considering amalgam fillings to look at the long-term benefits of alternatives.
Gold fillings are a lot more expensive. They involve taking impressions and having a lab technician fabricate the filling. And though gold fillings may not be particularly beautiful, they have other benefits such as a long life span and high durability. Gold fillings age very well, and as a consequence will only show minor wear from daily use.
Most dentists use gold as the filling material of choice for their own molars.
Porcelain fillings are similar to gold fillings in terms of price and fabrication. They are virtually invisible, but don’t have the same life span as gold.
Most likely composite (white) fillings are your best choice, but every situation is different, and the decision should be made by you and your dentist.
Contact us to book your appointment!