Fillings: Good, Better, and Best

You need to have a new filling or replace an existing one. In the world of modern dentistry, you have several options as to which materials to use. So that you can make a more informed decision, we have compiled this synopsis for your review.

The materials that we use today are much more esthetic (more natural) and durable than some of the older materials. We prefer not to place silver fillings because the margins corrode and the edges tend to fracture. We have listed choices of 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 nearly as often. So in the long run, they actually cost you less. The life of any restoration depends upon your attention to home care and your compliance with regular professional visits. 

GOOD - Composite, direct tooth-colored fillings: These direct-placed, one-appointment fillings are shaded to match the tooth and are bonded to the tooth for added strength. For small fillings, and fillings on anterior teeth, this may be your best choice. For larger fillings, they are not as strong.

BETTER - Lab-fabricated tooth-colored fillings: These two-appointment restorations require making a mold of your teeth and placing a temporary filling for about one week. Our dental laboratory will then custom make the fillings to fit the mold of your teeth. The restorations are made of a pressed ceramic material and are bonded to your tooth at the second visit. These fillings tend to be more natural-looking than direct-placed fillings, resist staining better, and are much stronger. We recommend these types of restorations for most cases as they are very esthetic and durable over time.

BEST - Lab-fabricated gold fillings: The strongest and most durable dental restorative material available to us today to place is gold. Like the other lab-fabricated restorations, gold fillings require two appointments, a mold of your tooth and a provisional restoration. Gold is much more esthetic than old, silver fillings because gold fillings do not stain the teeth. While some people may not care for the look of gold restorations, others want the added strength. If the fillings are in an area that is not visible when you smile, gold is your best option. We recommend these restorations for the back regions of the mouth where esthetics is not an issue.

As you can see, you have several good choices of materials to restore your teeth. All of them are functional, but the lab-fabricated fillings work better and last longer. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to help. 

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