Ipswich dentist, Dr Chirag Kothari, explains the pros and cons of different types of dental fillings.
By far the most common procedure carried out by dentists is the humble filling. This is used when a cavity appears in the tooth, usually caused by tooth decay. The decaying material is firstly removed and the cavity then filled using one of a number of materials.
There are two main types of filling materials that are most often used in dental practices in the UK and each have its own pros and cons.
Some types may not be suitable for all cavities and here at Foxhall Dental our team will always discuss the most appropriate one for your own particular needs so that you receive the best treatment outcome possible.
Without further ado then, let us take a look at these fillings, along with a brief look at other possible restorations.
This is the type of dental filling that many of our patients will be most familiar with. It is a strong but dark coloured material that is made from a mixture of metals that include tin, copper, silver and mercury. It does offer a very high level of strength and also lasts for a long time before it will need to be replaced and the tooth refilled. Amalgam dental fillings are not without their drawbacks though. The most obvious of these being the dark colour which makes a tooth filled in this manner very visible when we laugh or smile, or even yawn. For this reason, many of our patients are increasingly turning to cosmetic options when a filling is needed on a particularly visible tooth such as those at the front of the mouth, sometimes also called the ‘social six’ teeth.
Amalgam fillings can also shrink a little over time. This can lead to tiny gaps appearing between the filling and the tooth. This small gap can attract bacteria and further decay is quite possible. Finally, the use of mercury in amalgam fillings has caused some discussion over the years. It has been shown to be safe to use in this situation but the potentially negative impact of mercury in the environment means that it is likely to be phased out in the coming years ahead.