Know the Difference: Traditional Filling vs Composite Filling

Markham dentist

When it comes to fillings, it is important to be able to distinguish which dental restoration method is right for you. Markham dentist work tirelessly to make sure you have access to information that will give you insight into the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of your fillings. By asking yourself how much tooth structure remains, where and how the filling needs to be placed, and the chewing load that the tooth will be required to bear, you can make an informed decision about whether you need traditional or composite fillings.

Traditional Filling

Traditional dental fillings are usually made of silver amalgam, but can also be other materials like cast gold. The strengths of a traditional filling include:

  • Strength and durability
  • Useful for back teeth that are used more forcefully
  • Less expensive than composite alternatives

While some of the disadvantages can be:

  • Does not match teeth color
  • May involve destroying more tooth in order to make space for amalgam filling
  • Can cause grayish discoloration of surrounding teeth
  • Expansion and contraction of the filling can cause tooth fractures in rare cases
  • Some chance of allergy to the material

Composite Filling

Composite dental fillings can be tooth-colored because they are made of plastic and glass materials. The strengths of a composite filling include:

  • They can match the color of current teeth which can be handy for front teeth
  • They chemically bond to the tooth structure to help support it
  • Also can be used to repair chipped teeth
  • Sometimes can involve less destruction of the original tooth in order to remove decay and fill

While some of the disadvantages can be:

  • Are less durable than amalgams, lasting less than half the amount of time in most cases
  • Can take longer to fill with this material by up to 20 minutes
  • Require more visits to your local Markham dental office than their traditional counterparts
  • Cost considerably more than amalgams

There are other options you can look into aside from composite and tradition fillings. Ceramics are expensive but can last longer than even amalgams and are quite resistant to stains. Alternatively, there are fillings made of specific types of glass and acrylic that can be used below the gum line and for young children. Drilling is still required with these, but glass ionomers use fluoride to protect further deterioration of the tooth. This type is similar in cost and durability to composite types.

Overall, it’s up to you what you prioritize most in your fillings. If you’re willing to make multiple visits to your dentist in Markham, would rather have the colour of the filling match your teeth, and are ok with spending a little extra, then composite fillings might be your way to go. If you are looking to make the most out of your filling and have it last a long time, then traditional fillings can work well.

For a consultation about the process and which fillings may work best for you, you can visit Markham 7 Dental.