Dental fillings (also known as restorations) are a way to restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function and shape. It helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. We will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the mouth the filling is needed, and cost. Each filling material is briefly explained below:
Gold fillings are called inlays and are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While composite fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they may not be appropriate to restore very large areas of a tooth. In those instances, a porcelain onlay or crown may best serve you.
Porcelain fillings are custom created for you by one of our trusted dental labs. 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.
If decay or tooth fracture has involved a very large part of a tooth, dental crowns may be the longest lasting method of treatment.