Are you a bruxer? That means, do you grind and clench your teeth habitually? You may not be aware of it if you are a night time bruxer, but if you gnash your teeth all day at work or at school, then you will probably know it, eventually. If you aren’t aware of it, your dentist will be, because it can play havoc on your teeth. If you are a bruxer and you have a cavity in one of your back molars, you may need a different filling than a non-bruxer. That’s right, there are different types of fillings for different modalities. Which filling is right for you?
If you are a bruxer and you need a filling in one of your back teeth, your dentist may suggest a metal filling. Metal fillings can be gold or silver amalgam. Silver amalgam are the most popular because they are cheaper than gold but just as strong. Silver amalgam is a mixture of silver, tin, and copper bound together with mercury. This “amalgam” or mixture provides a strong and long-lasting restoration. However, it is not one you would want to use on your front teeth, because the silver filling will mar your smile.
Tooth colored fillings are more often than not, the filling of choice for anterior (front) teeth. That’s because the composite resin material is naturally white and can be tinted to blend in with your dentition, making them far more esthetically pleasing silver fillings. Composite resin fillings are a combination of glass and plastic creating a strong material that looks like a natural tooth. They require less removal of your natural tooth structure than metal fillings, and because they are bonding to the inside of your tooth, they strength your teeth as well.
When it comes time to choose a filling, your dentist will help you decide based on where your tooth is located and other important factors.