If you have a cavity, composite material is one of the more popular materials used to fill in that hole in your tooth. However, in some circumstances, a dentist may recommend a porcelain dental filling instead. Learning the reasons why a porcelain filling may be used in lieu of a composite material will help you to better understand your dentist's decision.
Your Filling is On a Tooth That Receives Chewing Pressure
If you have a cavity on one of your back teeth, or the teeth that you frequently chew on, a dentist may recommend a porcelain dental filling. This is because the teeth that you chew on receive a lot of pressure when you bite down. This pressure may crack composite fillings or cause them to wear faster. Porcelain is stronger and more durable than composite, making it the ideal choice for these teeth. In fact, this material is as strong as, if not stronger, than your natural tooth enamel.
Your Filling is On a Front Tooth
Composite material is a great option for a filling. It blends in on the underside of your teeth, making a filling hard to spot. However, if your filling is on one of your front teeth, porcelain fillings are preferred over composite. Composite blends in with your teeth, but does not always match perfectly. This is hardly noticeable on the underside of your teeth. However, it can be visible on your front teeth. Porcelain can be dyed to match the exact color of your teeth, helping to ensure it blends in perfectly. This makes a porcelain filling invisible. Additionally, porcelain repels stains better than composite, making the color remain natural-looking for a longer period of time.
You Want the Filling to Last
The last factor that a dentist will consider when recommending a porcelain dental filling is how long you want the filling to last. Composite fillings last only about five to seven years. A properly-placed porcelain filling can last as long as the lifespan of the tooth. If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, worry about having dental insurance in the future due to job instability, or simply want to have a tooth filled and never have to think about it again, a porcelain dental filling may be the right option for you.
If your dental insurance covers porcelain fillings, your dentist may recommend them to you instead of composite fillings. The reasons vary from patient to patient, but it may be because the tooth that needs to be filled is in a high-pressure part of your mouth, one of your front teeth, or because you or the dentist want the filling to last.
To learn more, contact a group like Plymouth Valley Dental Group.