Dental Fillings - How long do they last? How much do they cost?
Dental fillings are a common treatment option for repairing teeth that have been damaged by cavities or fractures. They can be made from a variety of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, and amalgam. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of dental fillings, their costs, and how long they typically last. We will also address sensitivity and allergy issues that may arise with certain types of fillings.
First, let's discuss the different types of dental fillings available. Composite resin fillings, also known as white fillings, are made from a mixture of glass or quartz and a plastic resin. They are a popular choice because they can be matched to the color of your teeth, making them virtually invisible. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be used on front or back teeth. However, they may not be as durable as other types of fillings and may need to be replaced more frequently.
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are made from ceramic material and are custom-made to fit your tooth. They are more expensive than composite resin fillings but are also more durable and resistant to wear. They are also a good option for people who are allergic to metal. However, porcelain fillings may not be suitable for use in areas of the mouth that are subjected to heavy biting or chewing forces, such as the molars.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made from a mixture of metals, including mercury, silver, copper, and tin. They are relatively inexpensive and durable, making them a popular choice for filling cavities in the back teeth. However, they are less aesthetically pleasing than composite resin or porcelain fillings and may cause sensitivity in some people. Additionally, there has been some concern about the potential health effects of mercury, which is used in small amounts in amalgam fillings.
Now, let's discuss the costs of dental fillings. The price of a filling can vary depending on the material used, the location of the filling, and the severity of the damage. On average, composite resin fillings cost between $90 and $250, while porcelain fillings can cost anywhere from $250 to $4,500. Amalgam fillings are typically the least expensive option, costing between $50 and $150. Keep in mind that insurance may cover some or all of the cost of your filling, depending on your policy.
As for how long dental fillings last, it can again vary depending on the material used and the location of the filling. Composite resin fillings typically last between 5 and 7 years, while porcelain fillings can last up to 15 years. Amalgam fillings can last for 10 to 15 years or even longer. However, it's important to note that the lifespan of a filling can be affected by factors such as your oral hygiene habits, the amount of biting and chewing pressure the filling is subjected to, and any underlying dental conditions.
Finally, let's address sensitivity and allergy issues that may arise with certain types of dental fillings. Composite resin fillings may cause sensitivity in some people, especially immediately after the filling is placed. This sensitivity usually goes away on its own after a few days or weeks. Porcelain fillings may also cause sensitivity, although this is less common. Amalgam fillings have been known to cause sensitivity in some people, particularly those who have metal allergies. If you have a known allergy to a particular type of filling material, be sure to let your dentist know before getting a filling.
In conclusion, dental fillings are a common and effective treatment option for repairing teeth that have been damaged. Call us today at Prosthodontics and Implant Therapy in Tampa, Florida; we are a full-service dental office and are pleased to offer treatment for all your dental needs.