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There are several different materials you can choose for a filling. Most are designed to look and function like real tooth material.
Many dental patients are familiar with the old style of fillings that used to be the only option available – an amalgam of metal, resulting in a glinting smile and often extra tooth sensitivity due to rapidly conducted temperature changes.
Today, there are several different materials you can choose from, and most are designed to look, feel, and function as closely as possible to real tooth material. These new materials range from inexpensive (but correspondingly less durable) to those with a higher up front cost but the potential to last many years.
Gold fillings are the strongest, longest lasting, and most durable restorative material, as well as the most expensive. May people choose these fillings for back molars, where the filling is less visible and the chewing surface experiences the most stress.
A lab fabricated custom filling is the second best choice in terms of lifespan, strength and durability, but has the added advantage of better aesthetics, particularly in cases when the filling will be readily visible, and also bonds more readily to the tooth.
Simple, direct tooth colored fillings are created from composite materials, and can be applied immediately, with no need for the lab to customize the filling. These are the least expensive tooth fillings, but will require periodic replacement.
Dr. Postol can help you decide which type of filling is best for you, depending on your long and short term dental care plan, which tooth is being treated, and your financial situation.