Understanding the Different Types of Dental Fillings: A Comprehensive Guide

Dentist Blog

Dental fillings, a common dental procedure, play a crucial role in maintaining oral health. They serve to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structures typically resulting from caries or external trauma. This article aims to shed light on the various types of dental fillings available today.

Amalgam Fillings

One of the oldest and most trusted types of dental fillings is the amalgam filling. It is a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin and copper. These fillings are renowned for their exceptional durability and are an ideal option for cavities in the rear teeth that endure substantial chewing forces. Because they are more conspicuous than porcelain or composite restorations due to their dark color, amalgam restorations are typically avoided in visible areas such as the front teeth.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings, also known as filled resins or composites, are a combination of glass or quartz filler. They offer excellent durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid-size restorations, providing the necessary strength to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Due to their tooth-like color, composite fillings maintain a more natural appearance than amalgam fillings. However, they are less durable and might not be suitable for large fillings, as they may chip over time.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings, also referred to as inlays or onlays, consist of a gold-copper alloy as well as other metals. Remarkably well-tolerated by gum tissues, this type of dental filling can endure for a long time. Consequently, gold is widely regarded as the optimal filling material. Nonetheless, it is important to note that gold fillings tend to be pricier and necessitate multiple visits for placement.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are made most often from porcelain and are resistant to staining. The primary disadvantage is that ceramic fillings can be brittle compared to composite resin and may break. However, they have a similar color to natural teeth, making them a good choice for visible areas.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

This type of filling is a blend of acrylic and a specific type of glass material. These fillings are the material of choice in situations where the filling is below the gum line. This is because glass ionomer fillings have the unique property of releasing fluoride, which can help prevent decay. They also are tooth-colored but do not last as long as other types of fillings.

In conclusion, there are many types of dental fillings available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Please consult with a dentist to determine the most suitable dental filling for your individual needs.


21 September 2023

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.