Key difference between Silver, Gold, Ceramic and other types of fillings

Once Rohit (A software engineer by profession) was brushing his teeth in the morning, suddenly he saw a black spot on his teeth, this black spot reminded him one of his close friend who is a dentist (endodontic).he thought why not just go to his dentist and get a consultation done for what can be done with this black spot.

So next day he went to his old friend’s  clinic, After few general discussion he told doctor that he is having some issues with his teeth, while observing his mouth dentist explained him that those tiny black spots are nothing but dental caries. Rohit wanted to know what can be done to correct them, well his dentist friend explained him that I can do the filling to save your tooth.

And while they were discussing the procedure, Rohit had some curiosity about the filling materials and he asked tell me doctor, why there are so many different kind of material and how would I know that which type of material is suitable for filling in my teeth. To this, Dr Madhwan said my dear friend let me explain you different types of filling material and their quality.

1. Silver Amalgam

This material is ages old and since more than 100 years it’s been used in dentistry and, this is basically an alloy of silver, copper tin and mercury. This material is not used now a day because of its unaesthetic appearance and can cause health hazards to human if used in larger quantities. It also corrodes around the margins of the filling’s which may lead to secondary decay.

2. Composite Resin

It’s another revolutionary tooth colored filling material as it comes in different shade which can be matched with the shade of the natural teeth. In this lesser amount of tooth needed to be cut as compare to amalgam filling, because it attaches to tooth surface with chemical bonding. The durability of composite material is in the range of 4 to 5 years .the merging of the filling with the tooth makes it more acceptable.

3. GIC

GIC is glass incomer cement, this material is a choice of filling because they slowly release fluoride, mostly done in children and can be used as a base along with composite where cavity is deep. The strength is comparatively lesser than the composite and they are brittle in nature so can wear off. Strength is lesser than composite. They are also of teeth colored material.

4. Ceramic

Ceramics are usually used in inlay and onlay preparation, as in these cases more tooth structure is compromised so to compensate the lost strength ceramic is preferred, it is highly durable, strong and doesn’t get stained in long run like composite and this is also tooth colored. However they are expensive and can cost like gold.

 5. GOLD

Talking about gold as we know gold is a noble metal, it is resistant to corrosion. This makes it a good choice for restoration, and this is also biocompatible (nontoxic, non-allergic and suits almost every individual). It fulfills the purpose as strength is very good and it is long lasting, the only drawback with gold filling is that it is quite expensive and not aesthetic in appearance.

After all these discussion now doctor wanted to know that which material is Rohit’s choice for filling, and Rohit said well if you talk about a strength I want the strongest among them but at the same time I also want the material to look like my own teeth so that nobody can make out if I have any filling.

So doctor I think I must go with the composite as it is fitting in both the criteria, well Dr Madhwan clapped for Rohit for his selection of the material “good choice my friend”  let’s do your filling  said the doctor and again they moved towards the dental chair for the further treatment procedure. So next time when you visit your dentist just don’t get confuse over these materials, just try to think what is your expectation and need for filling, and what kind of material fall under your category it will be easier for you to select, if still you get confuse. No problem…just ask to your dentist he or she will surely help to guide and figure out.

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