An Overview of the Different Dental Filling Materials

When your dentist finds a cavity during your semi-annual checkup, the goal will be to clean out and fill the cavity so that dangerous bacteria can no longer form there. If you are getting your very first filling, you may not know the differences between all the filling materials available to you. Continue reading to find out which material will be your best option.

How Long Will Filling Material Last?

Not all filling materials are created equal, with some lasting longer than others. If the longevity of the material is a concern, you'll need to know the differences between 4 popular materials.

Gold is expensive, but the material is very durable. Gold can potentially last for 15 years before any deformation, chipping, or corroding occurs.

Silver will cost less than gold while also lasting 15 years, which makes it a suitable alternative for patients. The biggest downside is that silver can turn the surrounding tooth gray, and you may not like the look.

Ceramic costs just as much as gold, with it potentially outlasting the material. Many patients do not like it because ceramic because it is more, which makes it a bad option for those that grind their teeth.

Composite resin has the shortest longevity, lasting at least 5 years.

Will Fillings Feel and Look Natural?

Gold and silver have a distinct look to them, which means you need to use something different if you want the filling to be unnoticeable. Ceramic fillings will look very natural, but will stay the same color if your teeth become stained or if you get teeth whitening done.

That's why patients who have cavities in their front teeth often get composite resin for their filling material. It will blend into your teeth's natural color and will be the most natural-looking of all the materials. It will even change color due to staining or whitening.

Are There Risks When Using Certain Materials?

Most people do not have complications from their dental filling, though there are some rare risks. Silver and gold can have thermal expansion from eating foods that are very hot. It can cause a tooth crack if expansion happens too quickly. If a filling is not placed properly, it can cause an uneven bite that causes pain when you bite down.

Since you are committing to using the filling material for up to 15 years, it's important that you understand the differences so that you can make the right decision. For further information, find a dentist through a website like