Dentist Which dental filling is the best?
In order to preserve a diseased tooth, dentists drill down on affected decay sites, clean them and seal gaps that have been created edge-tight with various restorative materials. "In terms of the materials used, however, there is a wide choice, which differ in terms of price and durability, but also in compatibility and aesthetic features," explains Dr. med. Christoph Sliwowski, Director of the Dental Implant Clinic Dusseldorf in the St. Vincent Hospital, and described in the following overview, on which criteria patients should pay attention to the selection:
For a long time, doctors favored amalgam as the most up-to-date material for dental fillings - even though it's not aesthetically the first choice. Finally, the cost-effective material not only ensures a good seal of the tooth, but also has a shelf life of over 10 years. However, amalgam fillings slowly dissolve over time and are suspected due to the mercury contained, causing discomfort such as persistent fatigue, headache and jaw pain, but also muscle spasms. Therefore, more and more physicians renounce its use. From July 2018, the use of children, expectant mothers and lactating women anyway restricted by law.
Dental fillings made of plastic, which the dentist also referred to as composites, are regarded as a cheap alternative. Depending on oral hygiene, they usually last 4 to 9 years. However, this only applies to light-curing composites, which consist of modern high-performance plastics, such as PEEK. When chemically hardening plastics form during curing often microcracks, in which bacteria find ideal shelter and lead to renewed caries. "Thanks to the improved material properties, there are fewer signs of wear and hardly any color changes when consuming special foods such as coffee or red wine," informs Dr. med. Sliwowski.
Gold is used as one of the longest lasting, most compatible, but also the most expensive materials for dental fillings. Due to their particularly hard properties, doctors prefer to use the precious metal in the posterior area of the molars. Here, the chewing loads are greatest and the distinctive look is the least noticeable. Gold fillings usually last 10 to 15 years and close gaps edge-tight, so they offer caries and other pathogens no room.
Since the color of ceramic can be precisely adapted and its translucency is similar to that of the original teeth, the material is considered a favorite among dental fillings - especially in the anterior and anterior region. Patients also value it because of its good tolerability and long shelf life of 10 to 12 years. Unpleasant side effects, such as the flaking off of brittle fillings, are also a thing of the past, thanks to advanced material technology and the use of high-performance ceramics such as zirconium oxide. The only downside is the high initial costs, which are not yet fully taken over by the health insurance companies.
The general rule: The more careful the individual dental care, the more durable the filling. Ideally, patients should not need any fillings at all. "Regular visits to the dentist, annual prophylactic appointments and daily oral hygiene create optimal conditions for a healthy oral cavity", emphasizes Dr. med. Sliwowski concludes.