Dental fillings is a common procedure to repair decayed, chipped or broken teeth.  It aims to remove bacteria from your teeth, improve your ability to bite and chew as well as enhancing the colour and appearance of your teeth. 

There are several materials that can be used for dental fillings depending on the size and shape of the cavity, location in the mouth, oral environment, aesthetic and financial concerns. 

Glass Ionomer fillings

Glass Ionomer fillings (gic) are made of a mixture of glass and acrylic powders. They are unique as they can have the ability to release fluoride which is beneficial in preventing decay. GIC fillings are also inexpensive and can blend in with your natural tooth colour however do not offer the same range of shade as composite fillings. Furthermore GICs are less durable than other filling materials and hence are indicated for areas in the mouth that sustain minimal occlusal load and are popular for children’s teeth.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth coloured resin (plastic) fillings that are popular as they are durable, economical and can match the colour of your natural teeth. Being made of resin they are soft and malleable and hence requires less drilling which is more conservative to your natural teeth. To harden the composite resin a blue light is used. Being tooth coloured they are ideal for anterior teeth that are visible when you smile and although long lasting they are not as durable as other types of filling materials so are ideal for smaller fillings and areas in the mouth that engage in mild to moderate chewing.

Metal Fillings

Amalgam is a tooth filling material consisting of an alloy of metals such as tin, copper, zinc and mercury. Being made of a combination of several metals that are soft when being used and then harden once set they are strong and hence can withstand forces of chewing. 

They are highly reliable material and inexpensive however have now become less popular due to its unaesthetic appearance and improvement in composite technology. Amalgam also requires more drilling hence is less conservative to your natural tooth. 

An alternative metal filling to amalgam is Gold. Gold is a very long lasting, malleable and durable material however due to its high cost and being highly noticeable it is rarely used.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic filling materials are usually made of porcelain. Like composite fillings, ceramic fillings are tooth coloured and hence can closely match the appearance of your natural teeth however they have the advantage over composites are they are more resistant to staining, 

Porcelain fillings are also more durable than plastic fillings hence they are indicated for larger cavities and areas in the mouth that require more resistance against heavy grinding pressures. They are an ideal material used to make onlay and inlays where a large amount of tooth structure has been removed. An onlay extends to cover one or more cusps of a tooth whereas an inlay is contained within the cusp tips. Furthermore porcelain fillings are bonded to the teeth hence they can increase the strength of a damaged tooth and are less extensive than full coverage crowns. However due to their superior properties porcelain fillings are more expensive. 

Do you have a concern about a cavity, a chip or broken tooth? Let us help! Please contact us at Stirling Smiles Dental where we can recommend the best suited filling material based on your individual needs and budget.

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Stirling WA 6021

08 9446 2682

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