Dental Fillings

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, amalgam, composite and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost.

Types of Dental Fillings:

Gold Fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.

Amalgam Fillings (silver) are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth. Due to the mercury content in amalgam (approximately 50%) we do not use this material in our practice.

Composite Fillings (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white dental fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they may not last as long as the amalgam restoration but they are safer and more esthetically desirable.

Porcelain Fillingsare called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the porcelain filling nearly undetectable.