When it comes to fillings it’s important to understand that a filling is not just a filling. Your doctor will help you determine the type of restoration that is best for you based upon the location and condition of the tooth involved, your health history, cosmetic expectations, and dental budget. At Central Dental, we firmly believe in taking the time to discuss treatment options and potential outcomes with you so you may make a well informed decision about your care. You can expect your doctor to consider the health and appearance of your teeth, as well as how you will feel about your smile, when making treatment recommendations.
Placement of amalgam, or silver colored, fillings in the anterior teeth would be unsightly; therefore, they are generally only considered acceptable for placement on the posterior teeth. These fillings offer no aesthetic value, are visible while eating and speaking, and may cause further cosmetic concern as the metal ages, corrodes, or darkens. Changes in temperature from food and drinks consumed will cause the restoration to expand and contract ultimately resulting in weakening, or possibly fracture, of the tooth. Furthermore, if the tooth requires a large filling the remaining natural tooth structure may appear dark or gray in color. Amalgam fillings are not discrete and do not boast of good health; therefore, most patients opt for composite fillings.
A resin composite, or tooth colored, restoration offers a natural appearance in contrast to traditional amalgam, or silver colored, fillings. Composite fillings are considered to be the most conservative restoration available because they require less tooth preparation, or drilling. The tooth becomes weaker as the amount of preparation increases and smaller restorations last longer, so it’s best to keep it to a minimum.
Composite and amalgam fillings may last up to ten to twelve years depending on the size and position of the restoration, foods eaten, and proper care. Composites are more complex to place than amalgams; therefore, the cost associated with them is also higher. Your doctor will recommend the restorative materials best suited to meet your dental needs. Insurance coverage, or lack thereof, will never dictate what dental treatment we feel you need and deserve. Our goal is to provide you with the best and longest lasting restorations possible. Your doctor will be glad to discuss these options with you.