Fillings Or Implants

A dental filling is a restorative material that is used to repair natural teeth and keep them functioning correctly. They are used when a tooth has been cracked, decayed, diseased or broken. There are three main types of dental filling material used today in modern dentistry – amalgam, gold and composite resin. Most people will need a dental filling at some time in their life due to natural wear of teeth, consumption of acidic or sugary foods or simply down to poor oral hygiene. Fillings range in price from around £20 – £150, differing greatly depending on the material used for the filling restoration and the size of the restorative filling.
The most common and cheapest dental fillings used are amalgam fillings. Amalgam is a grey/silver coloured metal containing mercury, silver, tin, zinc and copper. It is much cheaper than gold as the metal content has little value compared to the extremely high price of gold. Amalgam is used by some dentists as it required less skill to mould into shape when compared to the artistic skill of composite resin bonding. Amalgam has good properties for dental fillings such as low corrosion, high strength and due to its hardness, it is long lasting. Studies have shown, however, that amalgam actually weakens the natural tooth around it over time which can lead to cracking of the natural tooth and leaking of the fillings. Amalgam also raises concerns about health due to the fact it is made up of 50% mercury. Some countries have actually banned amalgam for dental use due to these concerns however there is little evidence to support claims amalgam fillings can negatively affect health.
Gold fillings were more popular thirty years ago than they are now due to the huge rise in gold prices over the last few years. Gold fillings are usually made of highly pure gold or high content gold alloys. Gold is a good material for dental fillings as it is unreactive with other substances, extremely good at dealing with chewing forces, has no known medical disadvantages unlike mercury and it is seen as a luxury product and thus a popular filling material. Gold fillings last typically for over 15 years.
The best and most modern material for dental fillings is composite resin. This white coloured material is exceptionally good as, if properly used, looks completely natural. Composite resin contains a group of dental materials used for restoration including various chemicals, fillers, ceramics and resins. Composite fillings are rather difficult to place and it requires quite a high level of skill on the dentist’s part to get it right. Composite resin is also rather expensive, usually costing around £60 -£ 100 per filling. This is because composite resin is difficult and expensive to produce. Composite resin is a rather weak material so although restorations may look good and function completely naturally, they will only last for around 5 or so years.

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