Dental Filling Options
When it comes to having a cavity filled, it’s important to know that you have options as to what kind of filling you can have. It is a good idea to have a consultation with your dentist, as to what treatments and materials are used for your dental care. Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler considers materials to use on an individualized basis, taking into account the size and location of your cavity. Cosmetic considerations, how long the filling could last, insurance coverage and out of pocket costs are some other factors you might want to consider. We encourage you to talk with your Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, so that together you may choose the material that’s right for you. Everyone is different and what is right for one person, may not be right for another.
Here are some common dental filling options:
- Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, are a mixture of glass or quartz filler that provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth.
- Dental amalgam, sometimes described as "silver-colored" fillings, is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Dental amalgam has been used for generations by dentists. Amalgam is very durable and more affordable than tooth-colored or gold fillings; however tooth-colored materials are more natural looking.
- Gold fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are composed of an alloy of gold, copper and other metals. Gold has been used in dentistry for more than 1,000 years due to its durability; however, gold is more costly than amalgam and not natural looking like tooth-colored fillings.