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If you’ve ever had a cavity, then you’re probably already at least somewhat familiar with dental fillings. Dental fillings are what’s used to prevent the tooth from decaying any further and return it to its normal level of functionality. They essentially fill in the small hole that a cavity causes. There are many different types of fillings, all with different benefits and downfalls.

Cast Gold Fillings

Gold is an efficient material for fillings because of its durability. They usually last anywhere from 10-15 years but have been reported to, on occasion, last up to 30 years. They also don’t cause any damage to the teeth surrounding them, as some other fillings do. Gold fillings are some of the most expensive fillings, costing more than 10 times a silver filling. The appearance of a gold filling, while not natural or subtle at all, is sometimes preferred by some patients. However, gold is a very efficient conductor of heat and cold, which some patients can find uncomfortable. Gold fillings are also more susceptible to galvanic shock, or an electric current in the mouth.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver fillings usually last up to 15 years. This is the cheapest filling option. This is primarily because of the silver coloring, which many patients consider aesthetically displeasing. For this reason silver fillings are often an option for young children whose cavities are located on baby teeth. Because the baby teeth will soon be replaced by permanent teeth the appearance of the filling is less of a concern. Silver fillings can sometimes stain the tooth and surrounding material a greyish color. They also are more susceptible to cracks.

Composite Fillings

Composite resin is usually the most popular material choice for fillings. This type of filling is reasonably priced and still lasts an average of 10 years. The main reason composite fillings are such a popular choice is because of the aesthetic factor. Composite fillings are shaded to match the color of the tooth they are applied to.

Porcelain Fillings

The price of porcelain fillings is comparable to the price of gold fillings. These fillings can match the shade of your teeth more exactly than composite. However they are also hard on your teeth. They can wear on the teeth surrounding the filling and can be brittle. They last more than 15 years.

Call Dr. D’Alfonso of Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry if you’re looking to have a cavity filled!