Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, there are now some tools to restore caries and keep your teeth strong and healthy. When you have a tooth that requires a filling, there are different materials used to fill the tooth, and it depends on several factors which material is best. One of the most commonly used filling materials is porcelain.
Porcelain, a non-crystalline gas consisting of silicon and oxygen, is generally used as a filler in teeth. It is usually used for dental fillings when:
The cavity is large or it is in an area where maximum chewing pressure is required.
If the cavity is in a tooth that is visible when you speak or laugh, and it is important to match the filling with your natural tooth color.
Porcelain is a strong and reliable material for use in dental restoration. Many patients prefer replacing old metal fillings with porcelain to improve the look of their smile. However, there are some negative aspects. Porcelain is a brittle material and tends to break. In general, composite fillings have a life span of 15-20 years, while porcelain fillings typically last for 5-10 years.
The greatest benefit of using porcelain ceramic filling is the completely natural appearance of the repaired teeth after the process is completed. Many patients are so happy with the appearance of their treated teeth that they eventually have all their old fillings removed and replace them with ceramic fillings.
The safety of materials is a positive issue to focus on when discussing ceramic fillings. There is always the possibility of an allergic reaction to one of the metals used, especially with amalgam fillings and their composites with silver and other minerals.
In the past, mercury was an accepted material for use in amalgam fillings, and mercury has proven to be toxic as well as allergic in some patients; furthermore, composite capsules which may contain mercury residues are extremely harmful to our environment. Ceramic porcelain fillings do not present any of these potential hazards.
Finally, ceramic filling materials are more resistant to stains and abrasions than conventional fillings and do not run the risk of developing micro-cracks, as amalgam fillings do. These cracks in the fillings may lead to the further deterioration in the covered caries containing tooth.