A variety of materials can be used for dental restorations. Each material has pros and cons depending on the work that needs to be done. It always best to discuss your options with your dentist especially since the materials vary in pricing.
Amalgam has been used for centuries and has proven to remain durable over time. A mixture of mercury with other metal alloys like tin, copper, and silver give amalgam its strength. Patients with large cavities or want a cost friendly solution tend to choose amalgam.
However, amalgam is very noticeable since it is shiny and silver in appearance. It does not blend in or look natural like other materials. Additionally, amalgam is losing its popularity due to recent studies exposing the toxicity in mercury.
This material has been increasing in popularity. It combines strength and aesthetics, which creates a near perfect solution.
Composites are a tooth color material therefore the patient can choose a shade that closely resembles their natural teeth. In addition, composites can be flowable or compactable. This means the material adheres to the tooth surface and molds to the organic tooth structure.
Ceramic is a good option for crowns, bridges, and veneers because it can match the surrounding teeth. This material is designed to protect the remaining tooth structure underneath. Thus, ceramic is supposed to fit snug – ensuring no gaps are present to prevent food and bacteria from being trapped.
100% ceramic crowns are not sensitive to temperatures. This allows the ceramic to remain in it’s original shape without condensing or expanding under extreme temperature change. However, ceramic does vary in durability and requires greater care with heavier forces.
Conversely, an amazing alternative for ceramic is zirconia. Zirconia is long lasting, extremely durable, and cost effective. Additionally, zirconia is resistant and will not corrode (break down) over time like other metal based materials.
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