Composite fillings are the material of choice for tooth repair of front teeth. On the down side, they are more technique sensitive for the dentist to place, are highly susceptible to tooth decay in the future if placed improperly and usually cost more than an amalgam.
Porcelain is sometimes used for dental fillings and are called inlays. Porcelain is a non-crystalline glass composed of silicon and oxygen. It has the advantage of being highly aesthetic, and is the dental restoration of choice for people who place the highest value in the appearance of their teeth. Porcelain has the disadvantage of being brittle, and, therefore, susceptible to breakage. It is also even more technique sensitive to use than composite, requires more than one dental visit to place the filling, and costs significantly more than amalgam or composite fillings. Porcelain can also cause accelerated wear of the opposing tooth when biting.
Gold is sometimes used for dental fillings, most commonly as an inlay. Gold is not used in its pure form, but as an alloy containing 75 percent gold, as well as copper, silver, platinum, palladium and zinc. Gold is extremely durable; fairly aesthetic; does not damage the opposing tooth when biting; and is very well tolerated by the gums and other intra-oral tissues. A well-done gold filling can last two to four times longer than any other dental material, and might be considered the "gold standard" for dental fillings. Gold inlays, like porcelain inlays, take two dental visits to complete and are also much more costly than amalgam or composite. They are also not nearly as aesthetic as composite or porcelain. In addition, gold inlays are fairly difficult to prepare and place--just ask any third or fourth year dental student. They are usually required for graduation from dental school.
It's a good idea to talk to your dentist about what material he or she recommends as filling for your cavities. Tell your dentist what your priorities are regarding cosmetics, durability, economics, etc. Together, you and dentist can make the best decision for how to rebuild your teeth.
If you're interested in getting amalgam or composite fillings, call us at 1-866-970-0441. We'll put you in touch with a great dentist today!