Types of Dental Fillings You Should Know About

Girl at a dental officeRestorative dentistry is an option for patients with common or minor dental problems requiring care. The techniques used can overlap with cosmetic dentistry methods, as the restorations – just like cosmetic dentistry – are there to improve the patient’s oral health.

Restorative dentistry practiced by a Manteca cosmetic dentist such as Smile Designs Dentistry involves diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting the gums, teeth, and jaw. For patients with tooth cavities, dental fillings assist in restoring the damaged tooth and preventing further decay.

Here are some types of dental fillings available.


Amalgam is a blend of 50% mercury with copper, zinc, tin and silver making up the other half. It is the least costly dental filling material and lasts for about 10 years. You can undergo the filling procedure in one visit, and they are strong enough to withstand the force of chewing.

They can, however, tarnish or corrode over time and cause tooth discoloration. They are also very noticeable since they do not match your teeth color.

Composite Resin

Composite resin is a combination of fine glass particles and plastic. They are used to fill inlays and front teeth, and they and match your teeth color. They last for about five years and are more costly than amalgam.

The fillings directly bond to your tooth and make your teeth stronger than amalgam fillings. They require more than one dental visit to place since they are often laid in layers.

Cast Gold

This is made from an alloy of gold and used for onlays, inlays and crowns. Cast gold lasts 15 or more years and is the most costly of restorative materials. Placing them takes two dental visits. Amalgam and gold cannot be placed following each other as they can cause a galvanic shock.

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There are also other materials used for fillings. Dentists also use ceramics for onlays, inlays, veneers, implants, orthodontic brackets and crowns. They last for approximately seven years and are impervious to abrasion and staining compared to composite resin. They are however very brittle.

Ask your dentist the best material for your filling on the next visit.