Types of Dental Fillings
If you go to the dentist and he finds a cavity, he will drill out the decayed portion and restore the tooth with a dental filling. There are several types of dental fillings from which you will be able to choose.
Dental amalgam fillings, also commonly referred to as silver fillings, have been around for over 150 years. Amalgam fillings are a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. These types of fillings are very durable and are oftentimes used in the back teeth, where they are able to withstand the pressure from biting forces. Though some people worry about the fact that silver fillings contain mercury, they should rest assured that study after study has proven that there is no harm from the mercury inside of the filling. The main reason for this is because the chemical composition of the mercury is actually altered during the binding process, thus rendering it safe. Another reason many patients do not like silver fillings is because they are highly visible. Gold fillings are another type of metal dental filling that is available to patients. Gold is also very durable, but much more expensive than silver amalgam fillings.
Composite resin fillings are a tooth-colored option for dental fillings. Composite resin is comprised of a mixture of ceramic and plastic materials. While they are not as durable as silver fillings, they have reached a point that they are able to withstand the pressure from biting forces experienced by rear teeth. Composite resin fillings tend to last from 5-10 years. Some insurance companies will only cover the cost of composite resin fillings when they are being used in teeth that are visible when you smile. For rear teeth, insurance companies will usually only cover up to the cost of an amalgam filling.
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