The Common Types of Teeth Fillings

man getting tooth filling

Your teeth are vital to your overall body health. They help you bite and chew food, the first part of the digestion process. As you do so, some food particles may remain between your teeth. Bacteria feed on these and produce acids that cause tooth decay, leaving cavities. The dentist may recommend using teeth fillings to repair your teeth and prevent their loss.

Some of the common tooth fillings include the following:

Silver Amalgam

A silver amalgam filling can last 12 years. It consists of 50 percent silver, zinc, tin, and copper, while mercury makes up the other 50 percent. It is a popular choice due to its strength and durability. It is easy to fit, and you do not need to be concerned about blood or saliva contaminating it.

Silver amalgam is cost-effective but is not appropriate for pregnant or nursing mothers. It is also not advisable for children under six years, people with neurological diseases, or who are allergic to mercury.


These are attractive and durable. Ceramic fillings consist of porcelain and are more expensive than other fillings. Their durability is due to their resistance to abrasion and staining. Still, they can break.

You need to be more careful when you have porcelain fillings. Thin fillings are more likely to break. The dentist drills a large hole to accommodate the extra bulk and avoid breakage. Ceramic fillings are tooth-colored and will give you value for your money if you take care of them.

Composite Fillings

These are not as obvious and easy to spot as silver amalgam fillings. The dentist can match them to the color of your teeth. Composite fillings consist of plastic and resin material. The dentist places a composite filling into the cavity or hole while still soft. Afterward, they cure it with a curing light which is bright blue.

Composite fillings are popular since they can be tooth-colored like ceramic fillings. They are also not as expensive, although they are pricier than silver amalgam. They last five to 10 years, so you will need replacement when the time is up.

Cast Gold

These fillings are rarely taken because of their cost. They also take more than one appointment to fix them. But once you get teeth fillings, you can enjoy them for 20 years before needing replacements.

They do not corrode due to their biocompatibility. They do not wear away in the presence of saliva and other body fluids, hence their durability. The only downside to gold fillings is their steep price. Also, they cannot match the color of your teeth. Otherwise, you will not regret getting one if you can afford it.

Glass Ionomer

These are ideal for children. They consist of glass and acrylic fillings. They also release fluoride into their teeth, protecting them and preventing further decay. They are weaker than composite resin and only last a few years.

However, they will last long enough for the child to transition into composite or any other fillings. Glass ionomer also does not match the color of your teeth like composite resin.

For more information on teeth fillings, visit Midtown Dental Center at our Atlanta, Georgia office. Call (404) 874-0800 to schedule an appointment today.

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