Dental Tips Blog


Types of Fillings

Posted in Fillings

If you need a filling, you will need to choose the material your dentist uses to fill the cavity.  There are several types of materials commonly used in dentistry today and your dentist will probably offer you one or more alternatives.  Gold, silver amalgam, and composite resin are the most commonly used materials for fillings.  Each has certain advantages and disadvantages.

Silver amalgam is a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, zinc, and copper is a very common material for fillings.  Amalgam is a strong, durable, inexpensive filling material.  It is relatively easy to use and the filling can be done in a single visit to the dentist’s office.  Many patients don’t like the silver color and teeth with amalgam fillings tend to crack at a higher rate than other types of fillings.

Gold is also a good material for fillings.  It is strong and durable and can last 10 to 15 years or longer.  Many patients prefer the look of gold fillings over silver amalgam.  However, gold fillings are more difficult to place and usually require more than one visit to the dentist.  In addition, they are much more expensive than silver amalgam. 

Composite resins are tooth colored material so the filling match your teeth.  They can usually be installed in a single visit, although the process takes a little longer than amalgam fillings.  Composite resins are more expensive than amalgam, but not nearly as expensive as gold fillings.  The main drawback to composites is that they are not as durable as gold or amalgam.  Composite fillings only last 5 to 10 years. 

Your dentist will help you choose the best material for your filling.

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