The days of having a mouth peppered with silver fillings are long gone and anyone who doesn’t want fillings that look like fillings will find that they have many options to consider. Dental amalgam (a combination of silver, mercury and other materials) was the material of choice among dentists the world over for decades. However, while it’s still in use (generally for rear molars to withstand the greater pressure), amalgam isn’t used anywhere near as extensively as in the past and patients now have a variety of other options to consider.
Composite Resins and Porcelain — Lifelike Options for Fillings
With its increased emphasis on cosmetics and not only hygiene, safety and functionality, modern dentistry has taken a ‘biomimetic’ approach to fillings and there are now several alternatives to amalgam fillings available.
Whether you need a new filling or you’re replacing an older filling that’s cracked or fallen out, or an unsightly discoloured amalgam filling, ask your dentist about the filling materials they can offer. Composite resins and porcelains are the most popular new options for filling materials, and not only do they look like teeth, but their structure actually imitates the structure of teeth, making them incredibly life-like.
Composite resins are usually made with methacrylate (a strong and highly durable plastic material) which is combined with silica fillers and have a porous structure which is similar in appearance, density and structure to bone. One of the biggest benefits to composite resin fillings is that they can bond to the natural tooth structure and provide a filling solution that delivers longevity and an appearance that closely mimics natural tooth aesthetics.
The other popular filling material used in modern dentistry is dental porcelain, which is a ceramic with an appearance that resembles enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. With aesthetics that closely match the calcium crystals which comprise a tooth’s protective outer layer, porcelain fillings look just like real teeth and are an immensely popular option.
Which of the two is the best option for you? That depends on your teeth and your budget. For large fillings, porcelain is usually the better choice as it’s more durable and delivers greater longevity, looks more natural, and for most people, it’s also the more aesthetically pleasing of the two. However, while it delivers more benefits, it’s also more expensive.
Composite resin fillings, on the other hand, are more cost-effective, can often be used for molars and while they aren’t as natural-looking as porcelain fillings, they’re inconspicuous and far more natural in appearance than amalgam fillings. Moreover, composite fillings can be placed in a single appointment, making them a quick and easy option to suit all budgets.
If you need new fillings or have issues with your old amalgam fillings and you’re thinking of replacing them with either porcelain or composite resin fillings, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly dental professionals on 07 3482 2209. Along with fillings, we also offer dentures, dental implants and teeth whitening services at Mango Hill Dental clinic.