Cavities are a common dental problem that are caused by a number of factors including poor oral hygiene and eating too many sugary or acidic foods. Dental fillings are typically administered with the purpose of filling in and correcting the negative effects that cavities can have on your oral health. The longer a cavity goes untreated, the worse the problem and its symptoms will become. At the first sign of a cavity, your dentist will most likely recommend that you get a filling to prevent the problem from getting worse. You can choose between gold, silver, or composite resin fillings.
Continue reading to learn all about the advantages and disadvantages of all three to determine which one is right for you.
Gold Tooth Fillings
Due to their conspicuous nature, gold tooth fillings are typically only reserved for filling cavities on the back teeth or molars. These teeth aren’t as easily visible as incisors, which also makes the fillings less visible. Typically, the cost of a gold filling depends on how much material is needed to fill in the cavity and where the filling is being placed. Gold fillings being placed on a back tooth can cost as much as $1,300 in Ontario.
Advantages of Gold Dental Fillings
One of the biggest advantages of getting gold dental fillings is that they’re extremely durable and they’re more likely to last a long time. In fact, gold fillings can last anywhere from 10-15 years depending on your oral hygiene habits and how often you floss between your teeth.
Disadvantages of Gold Dental Fillings
On the other hand, gold fillings also have several disadvantages. The main one is that most people prefer not to get them because of their colour. From far away, it can look like you have one very yellow or discoloured tooth. Also, gold fillings typically cost more than their silver counterparts because of the materials used to make them. Since these types of fillings are placed indirectly, they typically require two sessions to secure them in place which increases the risk of damaging them in between appointments and you’ll have to spend more time in the dentist’s chair.
Silver Dental Fillings
Silver fillings, also known as dental amalgam fillings, are usually the more popular choice among patients for a number of reasons. For one thing, they’re not nearly as obvious or gaudy looking as gold fillings. However, even this option comes with its merits and its pitfalls.
Advantages of Silver Dental Fillings
Silver dental fillings are far more affordable than gold fillings because they consist of miniscule traces of copper, tin, mercury, and silver. As a matter of fact, silver fillings are the least expensive option. However, just like gold fillings, they’re typically only relegated to the back of the mouth because of their unnatural looking colour. Silver fillings are also much easier to put in because they fit directly in the crevice that needs to be filled in your teeth, which means your dentist can get it done in one visit. Silver fillings also last approximately 10-15 years but they’re not necessarily as durable as gold fillings.
Disadvantages of Silver Dental Fillings
The main disadvantage is the cosmetic concern, as mentioned previously.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are comprised of a mixture of fine glass particles and plastic. These fillings are usually white in colour, which makes them the more popular option for front teeth.
Advantages of Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are typically formulated to match the natural colour of the tooth on which they’re being placed, which means they’re virtually undetectable to the naked eye and they can be placed on front teeth. Composite resin fillings can be done in one session. When placed directly on the tooth, they can actually help strengthen the structure of the tooth and prevent further damage.
Disadvantages of Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are more expensive than silver amalgam fillings and they don’t typically last as long. Once the composite is placed, it can actually shrink, which leads to a gap between the filling and the tooth. This can lead to developing more cavities over time, so it’s very important that your dentist places them very carefully. Since composite resin fillings are placed layer by layer, you’ll be spending more time in the dentist’s chair than if you were getting a silver filling.
Which One Should You Choose?
Ultimately, that decision is entirely up to you and your dentist. Make sure you provide them with your medical history if they don’t already have it so that they can use that information to make the most appropriate recommendation for your situation. Another deciding factor could be the cost of the procedure and the fillings themselves. Discuss your options in detail with your dentist so that they can help you decide which one is the most feasible choice for you.
Are you experiencing pain, sensitivity, or discomfort in one or more of your teeth? It may be time to consider getting a filling.
If you’re overdue for a dental cleaning and are concerned about the health of your teeth, then Princeview Dental Group in Etobicoke can help. We have many years of experience working with people of all ages, dental health histories, and backgrounds and we know we can help restore your confidence in your smile. Book an appointment with us today!