What You Need to Know About Types of Fillings for Teeth

Types of Fillings for Teeth

Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been affected by cavities or damage. There are several types of dental fillings available, each with its own advantages and considerations. Here are some common types:

1. Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used for many years. They are a combination of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Amalgam fillings are durable, long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive. However, their silver color can make them more noticeable, which may be a concern for some patients.

2. Composite Fillings

Composite fillings, also called tooth-colored or white fillings, are made of a mixture of plastic resin and finely ground glass particles. They can be closely matched to the color of your natural teeth, making them a popular choice for visible areas. Composite fillings are also versatile and can be used for both front and back teeth. They bond well to the tooth structure but may be less durable than amalgam fillings and may require replacement over time.

3. Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings, also known as porcelain fillings or inlays/onlays, are made from high-quality dental ceramic materials. They are custom-made in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth. Ceramic fillings offer excellent aesthetics as they can be color-matched to the natural teeth. They are durable, stain-resistant, and can be a good choice for patients with metal allergies. However, ceramic fillings tend to be more expensive than other types of fillings.

4. Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are made of a mixture of glass and acrylic. They release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. Glass ionomer fillings are commonly used for children’s teeth, as they are easier to place and may not require drilling. However, they are not as durable as other types of fillings and may be more prone to wear and fracture.

5. Gold Fillings

Gold fillings, also known as gold inlays or onlays, are made of a mixture of gold and other metals. They are highly durable, long-lasting, and well-tolerated by the surrounding tissues. Gold fillings require multiple dental visits for placement, as they are custom-made in a dental laboratory. They are more expensive than other types of fillings and may not be as aesthetically pleasing due to their gold color.

The choice of dental filling material depends on various factors, including the extent of the cavity, location of the tooth, aesthetic considerations, and individual patient preferences. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and discuss the most suitable option for your dental filling.