Tooth fillings are used to repair cavities, broken or cracked teeth, and worn down teeth from tooth grinding, nail-biting, or some other form of misuse.
There are several different types of filling materials, and the type your dentist decides to use depends on the cost, how much your insurance will cover, the location of the cavity, and how bad it is.
Amalgams (Silver Fillings)
These durable fillings are used for repairing cavities in the molars. They’re a combination of silver, tin, zinc, mercury, and copper, with mercury comprising almost 50% of the mixture. The durability of amalgams is a primary advantage–they can bear the force of chewing and usually last longer than 10 years. They are also cheaper, less sensitive to moisture, and can be completed in one trip to your dentist. But some disadvantages are that they don’t match the color of your teeth and they don’t bond with your tooth.
This tooth-colored mixture of plastic and tiny glass particles is primarily used for visible parts of the teeth. They last for about 5 years and tend to cost more than amalgam, but less than gold. Composite fillings can also bond directly with to the tooth, which makes the tooth stronger than an amalgam would leave it.
These fillings are a gold alloy and are commonly used for crowns, inlays, and onlays. Since it’s gold, it does cost quite a bit more than other fillings. However, they are the most durable filling material and tend to last for more than 15 years. They generally take at least two visits to the dentist to complete the filling. An impression of your tooth is made and a temporary filling placed at the first visit, and the gold is placed at the second visit after making it from the impression.
Ceramic fillings are tooth-colored and most often made from porcelain, and are used for crowns, veneers, implants, orthodontic brackets, and inlays/onlays. They generally last about 7 years and can cost almost as much as gold. They are more resistant to staining and scratching than composite fillings, but are also more brittle.
These unique fillings are made of acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate (a glass component). They are most commonly used as a kind of glue for inlay fillings, and for fillings in your front teeth or in the roots. They last around 5 years and are similar to composite in cost. They release fluoride intermittently, helping to prevent the tooth from decaying more.
If you’re looking for tooth fillings in Salt Lake City, contact South Temple Dental schedule an appointment.