With new materials being invented all the time, the use of silver amalgam fillings is rapidly declining. New materials such as composites and porcelain offer a much more aesthetically pleasing result, and can provide the same strength and durability.
Your choices for fillings
Your FirstBite dentist will give you advice and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type so you can make an informed decision. The best type for you will depend on how big the restoration is, whether it is in a visible part of the mouth, and the potential cost.
Tooth-Coloured Resin Composite Fillings
These have an average longevity 10–15 years; tooth-coloured; moderate cost; best-used in small-to-medium-size restorations for any teeth; direct one-day placement.
Tooth-Coloured Ceramic Indirect Fillings
Average longevity 10–15 years; tooth-coloured; moderate-high initial cost; best in moderate-sized restoration for any teeth; two-appointment placement.
Gold Inlays And Onlays
Average longevity 20 years to life; gold colour; moderate-to-high initial cost; may be used in any size restoration in any location where metal is not displayed.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver amalgam (an alloy that contains silver, tin, copper, zinc and about 50% mercury) has been used for approximately 160 years for the restoration of teeth. Average longevity is 15 years, silver colour; low initial cost; best in small-to-medium-sized restorations of posterior teeth.
Average longevity 10 years; tooth-coloured, fluoride-containing plastic-type filling. Not very strong, so wears down quickly. Good for fillings in kids’ teeth, as a temporary filling, or in patients with a lot of decay.
Restoration using a crown
Teeth may also be capped with a crown to restore a covering to the tooth. Visit our Dental Crowns page for further information.