You need to have a new filling, or have an old one replaced. In the world of modern dentistry, you have several choices as to the materials that we can now use. In order for you to make a more informed decision, we have put together this information sheet for your review. The materials that we use today are much more esthetic (more natural looking) than some of the older materials. We still do place silver fillings, but rarely do patients want them any more because the new materials bond to the tooth and are so much nicer. We have listed your choices in materials in order of strength, longevity and investment. Keep in mind that the stronger materials last longer, and while the initial investment is more; they won’t have to be replaced as often, if at all. So in the long run, they actually cost you LESS! How long any tooth lasts depends on how good a job you do with your home care and whether you come in for your regular dental visits. Some people want to drive a Mercedes, others are happy with a Chevy. The choice is yours. Your options are:
1). GOOD: Composite, Direct Tooth Colored Fillings.
The direct placed, one appointment fillings are shaded to match your tooth and are actually bonded to the tooth for added strength. For small fillings and front fillings, this may be your best choice. For larger fillings, they are not as strong. These are the lowest fees as well.
2). BETTER: Lab Fabricated Tooth Colored Fillings.
These two appointment fillings involve making a mold of your tooth and placing a temporary filling. A Dental Laboratory will then custom-make this durable filling to fit the mold of your tooth. These fillings are generally heat and or pressure treated for added strength. Usually they are made of porcelain, or porcelain like material. These fillings are then bonded to your tooth at the second visit. They tend to be more natural looking than direct placed fillings, resist staining better, and are much stronger. The fee is higher on these. The addition of CEREC in house fillings, crowns and veneers are also in this category.
3). BEST: Lab Fabricated Gold & Porcelain Fillings.
The strongest and most durable material for dentistry today is still gold. Like other lab fabricated fillings, gold fillings require two appointments, a mold of your tooth, and a temporary. Gold is much more esthetic than old silver fillings because gold fillings do not stain teeth. Some people may not care for the look of gold fillings, while others want the added strength. If the filling in an area that does not show when you smile, gold is by far the best choice. The fee is also higher with these. Remember, the choice is always yours!
As you can see, you have several good choices of materials to restore your teeth. All of them work, but the lab fabricated fillings work better and last longer. Just like you could buy a good pair of shoes or buy a cheaper pair. Both will work, but the good pair will last longer, look better and over time, may cost less because you don’t have to replace them over and over again. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to help.