So, you've found yourself with a cavity, which means a trip to the dentist. What kind of filling will you be offered? Here are three common types of fillings that dentists offer:
A gold filling can also be called an inlay or an onlay. This type of filling is not actually pure gold; it is an alloy of gold, copper, and a few other metals. The biggest advantage of a gold filling is that it lasts longer than most other types of fillings, over 20 years in some cases.
The disadvantage to this is that gold is the most expensive type of filling, requiring more than one visit to complete the installation. An impression must first be manufactured before the filling can be fitted.
A silver-colored filling is actually called amalgam. Amalgam is made from many different metals, including silver and tin, and is 50 percent mercury, which leads some dental patients to refuse this filling.
Nonetheless, the mercury in amalgam is not "free" mercury, and is perfectly safe when combined with the other metals, although approximately one percent of people are still allergic to it.
Another disadvantage besides the allergic reaction is that amalgam tends to expand with age, cracking the tooth. However, the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages. The biggest advantage to dental amalgam is that it not only lasts more than 10 years on average, but it tends to be the cheapest and most widely available option.
A tooth-colored filling, otherwise known as a composite filling, is composed of resin from different types of chemical products. This chemical structure allows the resin to actually bond to the tooth, strengthening the tooth's structure. However, dental composite is not as durable as the other two filling types, only lasting between five and 10 years on average.
Tooth-colored fillings attract people because of their natural look, compared to that of silver or gold-colored fillings.
These fillings are also the most widely available, even though they are more expensive than the silver fillings and can take up to 20 minutes longer to place. The biggest disadvantage to this type of filling, aside from the durability, is that some insurance companies do not cover their cost.
If your dentist offers you multiple filling choices, remember to consider the cost, aesthetic appeal and whether or not your insurance will cover it. If you have a tooth that needs to be restored, see http://www.fortcollinsdentist.com or contact a dentist in your area.