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choosing the best material for dental fillings

Of course, you’d rather not consider how to handle a cavity. After all, your daily dental hygiene habits are dedicated to preventing the development and spread of tooth decay that causes cavities. If you do develop a cavity, though, what happens next? The staff at our dental clinic in Edmonton will remove all decayed and decaying material to prevent the infection from spreading further. What, then, to do with the hole left behind? It’ll need to be filled. When it comes to getting dental fillings in Edmonton, you have more choices than you may realize. Here’s an introduction to each option.

Composite Fillings

Getting composite fillings near you is an increasingly popular choice because the resins used to fill your cavities will be selected and tinted to match the colour of your healthy teeth precisely. Neither you nor anyone else will be able to tell that you’ve had a cavity filled. This makes composite fillings a particularly attractive option for treating cavities in your “smile zone” at the front of your mouth.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

“Silver” fillings made up of a combination (also called an amalgam) of metals like silver, mercury, copper and tin are the most traditional and common type of filling that have been used for centuries all around the world. Silver fillings have a couple of significant downsides: they stand out in your mouth like a sore — and very bright — thumb; and they contain mercury, a substance associated with health risks, though amalgam fillings themselves are considered safe.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are an especially good option for children who still have baby teeth that they’re going to lose. That’s because glass ionomer fillings actually produce fluoride around the site of their cavity. Glass ionomer fillings have the shortest lifespan of all the options — less than five years — but that’s not a significant weakness considering they’re most frequently used in children. Due to two other weaknesses, they’re not usually recommended for adults: they’re weaker than composite fillings and subject to cracks and erosion; and ionomer materials can’t be matched to the colour of your teeth.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are the most long-lasting and aesthetically attractive option for filling cavities. The ceramic material is particularly resistant to being stained and abrasion. Having said that, ceramic fillings are far more expensive than composite fillings and tend to be more brittle than composite materials and do require the removal of more tooth matter than other options.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are not a common choice for filling cavities because they’re particularly expensive compared to other options. Receiving gold fillings requires a series of appointments and more time than getting amalgam fillings, for example. Gold fillings can also be harder to fit into a cavity than other choices. Having said that, gold fillings do offer the advantage of lasting for up to 15 years and being very resistant to corrosion.

If you have a cavity and our dentist has recommended getting a filling, ask our dentist what types of fillings are best for you. By all means choose a silver amalgam filling if that’s the option our dentist recommends or the one that you prefer. But don’t do so out of a sense that you don’t have any other choices. Each of these five options for getting fillings at our dental clinic near you offers advantages and suffers disadvantages. Discuss all those pros and cons with our dentist to determine which material will provide the most protection for the health of your teeth.