A fillings is a way to fix a tooth back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a fillings, the dentist will remove the decay, clean the affected area, and then fill the tooth with a filling material. A fillings helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
You have the option at our office on choosing what kind of material you would like your cavity filled with. There are a variety of materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the filling is needed, and cost.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are an inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than the porcelain or composite fillings and are not recommended for teeth that are in the front of the mouth.
- Composite (plastic) fillings are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years and may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable. Insurance will not cover this filling so If you would like to have one done the cost is out of your pocket.