Certainly, tooth decay is among the most common dental health issues. If that’s your case, it becomes mandatory to undergo the proper restoration procedure to fix the decayed tooth.

To treat the affected tooth, the dentist must remove the decayed portion. And then, fill the resulting hole where the affected material was extracted.

There are many types of fillings a dentist can use to evening out the surface of a decayed tooth to give it back its natural appearance.

All dental fillings have different strengths, looks, longevity (and obviously, cost). This article will guide you through the types of dental fillings most used for dental restoration procedures.

Types of dental fillings

But what types of dental fillings are the most used?. Here is a list of the most common choices, their advantages, and downsides:

Gold fillings:

Aside from being an utterly sturdy, durable material (15+ years), the main advantage of gold cast fillings could be that most people find them more pleasing to the eye.

On the downside, other than their cost (10+ times than silver amalgam fillings), putting gold fillings in place requires more than one session with your dentist. 

Silver amalgam fillings:

One of the most affordable, durable (10+ years), and sturdier types of dental fillings. Silver amalgam fillings are among the preferred choices.

The main downsides of silver amalgam fillings include their colour and increased tooth sensitivity to hot/cold temperatures.

Also, some Dental Associations recommend minimising silver amalgam fillings in kidney disease patients, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and children. 

Composite resin fillings:

Due to closely matching your natural tooth colour, their main advantage is aesthetics. Also, because of this, composite resin fillings are popular to restore cracked/chipped teeth.

Their main disadvantage resides in the durability aspect. Also, composite resin fillings are far more expensive and take more time to place than silver amalgam fillings.

Glass ionomer fillings:

Generally used for fixing small cracks near the gumline, glass ionomer fillings release fluoride to fortify the surrounding teeth structure.

Compared to composite resin ones, glass ionomer fillings cost relatively the same. However, these are more susceptible to wear and fracture, which affects their durability (5 years or less). 

Ceramic fillings:

Highly durable and more resistant to staining than composite resin, ceramic fillings (made of porcelain materials) more closely resemble your natural tooth colour.

Nonetheless, ceramic fillings can cost as much as gold fillings. But, given their extended longevity, they are worth their price.  

It is worth noting that dental fillings are also used to fix broken/cracked teeth and in worn-down teeth restoration (often caused by tooth grinding or nail-biting).

Right after a dental filling procedure, it is common for a tooth to feel a little sensitive. However, if this sensitivity persists, we recommend visiting your dentist right away.

As a final recommendation, if you have doubts when choosing which types of dental fillings are best suited for you, always seek the advice of your dentist.

Your dentist is the most qualified person to determine the best types of dental fillings based on decay severity, cavity location, and, of course, your budget. Until next time!