There are many different materials that can be used to fill a hole in your tooth that is typically created by removing decay (cavities), a minor fracture, tooth wear or erosion. While there are advantages and disadvantages of each option, your dentist will typically have a preference on which type of filling material they feel is best. Sometimes that is based on their own research and preferences, other times all materials are considered and a decision is made based on what is best for your unique situation and the long term health of the tooth.
Dental filling materials include:
- Silver amalgam (contains mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper)
- Tooth-coloured fillings, also called composite resin fillings
At Ambiance Dental, our position is that we do not place amalgam fillings in our patients’ mouths. There are several reasons for this including the risk of exposure to heavy metals such as mercury. We also have many alternative options nowadays that are excellent options to choose instead.
Composite resin or dental bonding is an excellent option to address tooth structure loss. It is bonded to the tooth and seals the area of the tooth affected by cavity, erosion or minor chipping.
Composite resin fillings are available in many tooth shades allowing them to be virtually undetectable while blending in with your natural tooth.
At Ambiance Dental we promote the long term health of each tooth and will work with you to preserve your natural teeth as much as possible. A natural tooth can take over 500 pounds of biting force before it fractures. Teeth with large restorations can break with half that force. This means over your lifetime, a tooth that is restored with a lot of filling material is at increased risk of cracking. Fracture is the third leading cause of tooth loss. Teeth that are prone to fracture or cracking would benefit from porcelain or gold restorations instead.
There have been many advances in porcelain and it is also an excellent choice to restore a tooth. Porcelain looks very natural and restores the shape and beauty of the tooth. Porcelain doesn’t respond well to shear stress so patients who grind are at risk of chipping or breaking the porcelain though. If you choose porcelain restorations, your dentist will likely recommend protections such as a night guard or dental splint if you grind your teeth. Porcelain is the leading material used for anterior teeth as we recreate the beauty of a natural smile.
Gold crowns are also an excellent option to restore a tooth while reducing the amount of tooth removed for preparing the crown. Gold has an excellent long-term success rate of 90% at 20 years and doesn’t crack or chip, as it wears similarly to your natural teeth. We recommend gold for patients interested in long-term success or to address teeth that do not show in your smile such as your last molars.
Dr. Nagra or Dr. Nowak will explain your options to you in detail, so you may decide which filling option is best for you based on your oral health.
Patients at Ambiance Dental will notice the difference in working with us right away. We will get to know you, your overall health and your lifestyle habits closely so that we can be sure to provide you with recommendations that consider your holistic needs. Oral care is closely tied to your overall health so it’s important that all factors are considered when we discuss car and treatment options. Book a consultation or our 90 minute New Patient Comprehensive Evaluation today to get started with dental care that truly takes your whole body and lifestyle into account.