All About Fillings


Composite fillings are the most popular and widely used kind.  A huge advantage of composite fillings is that the dentist can match them to the color of your surrounding teeth.  However, just like your natural teeth composite fillings do discolor over time.  Composite fillings can also be bonded into place, which means less drilling!



Glass ionomer fillings are a newer option available that are made from acrylic acids and fine-glass powders.  They also can be made to blend in with surrounding teeth and can be designed to release small amounts of fluoride to prevent further decay.  This type of filling can fracture, however, meaning that it won’t be appropriate for chewing surfaces.



Amalgam has been used for over a hundred years for fillings.  Amalgam is a combination of copper, tin, silver, and mercury.  They are incredibly durable, last a very long time, and are very inexpensive.  The downside is that they are silver in color and do match natural teeth.



Silver fillings aren’t really silver, but are made of base metal alloys that look like silver.  These too are very strong and inexpensive.  Cavities filled with “silver” fillings are more prone to sensitivity and like amalgam, do not match natural teeth.



Gold fillings are actually made of gold and other metals.  They are very strong, but again do not match natural teeth.