By Dr Yannopulos · Published November 27, 2019

Common types of dental fillings used by your dentist

Common types of dental fillings used by your dentist preview image

Preview image for Common types of dental fillings used by your dentist

Dental filling procedure is one of the best ways of restoring teeth strength and appearance. Cavities, fractures in the teeth are also taken care of by fillings. Your teeth may get damaged due to lifestyle, diseases, dental problems, or even accidents. The primary function of dental fillings is restoring the damaged teeth and making it possible to provide its original functions.

Cavities are often the first thought when dental fillings are mentioned. Bacteria causes decay in the teeth and the dental pulp in the interior of the teeth gets eroded. The whole teeth is lost due to this. There are situations in which teeth suffer from fracture or one can see cracks in them. Trauma to the mouth area, contact sports, accidents or falls can all bring on teeth fracture. Providing support to the chewing function of the teeth and helping when there is extreme teeth sensitivity – all these can be obtained by having the dental filling procedure.

In the case of tooth decay, which is one of the most severe cases of tooth damage, dental filling procedures need to be done to save the teeth. This will help not just the damaged teeth but the neighbouring teeth as well. The decayed portion of the teeth is removed and the area is cleaned. The centre of the teeth is then filled with materials that will protect the teeth. Removing decay will also prevent damage from spreading to other teeth.

Common types of dental fillings

There are different options that one can choose from while going for a dental filling procedure. The type of filling, the procedure, the recovery and after care is all discussed during the consultation with dentists. According to one’s dental health, preferences the filling can be chosen. Fillings differ in colour and in strength.

Amalgam dental fillings

Amalgam fillings are one of the commonest and oldest fillings used in this procedure. These fillings are one of the strongest filling materials. Due to the strength they provide, they are usually suggested by dentists when molars need this procedure. Teeth at the back of the mouth assist with chewing and if amalgam fillings are used, they can provide good support to the molars. It is least expensive when one thinks of the cost, but they are also easily visible, so it may be suitable only for the back teeth. If the filling is required for front teeth, you may probably not want to choose amalgam fillings for aesthetic reasons.

Composite resin fillings

This filling provides benefits when one thinks of the colour of the dental filling. Composite resin fillings are made of a combination of plastic and glass. Supporting decayed teeth, helping teeth when they are evened out or improving the appearance of the teeth is all possible with these fillings. These resins are applied in layers. Light is applied after each application and it is hardened. This procedure helps to strengthen the tooth and helps against wear and tear.

Gold / Silver fillings

Metal fillings commonly use gold or silver fillings. These metal fillings are chosen by people according to their preferences and also durability. Gold generally costs more than silver fillings. Gold filling is usually mixed with other metals like silver and the cast for the filling is made. Both provide good support to the teeth and prevent it from further damage. If one is looking for durability then metal fillings are the best as with proper care, these fillings can be used for 14-15 years. But if one is looking for natural looking teeth, then gold/silver fillings will not be ideal. These fillings are usually used as inlays and on lays.

Ceramic fillings

Tooth coloured fillings made of porcelain are also used in dental fillings. Ceramic fillings mimic the natural teeth and are also able to support the teeth in its chewing and grinding functions. Mimicking the natural teeth greatly is one of the top benefits of using this dental filling. Many opt for this filling due to the same reason. These fillings also are a good fit for the teeth and help provide a good and proper covering. It costs more than metal fillings but is durable and provides better appearance and confidence to the user.  Now, more and more people are using this type of filling as the procedure can be done faster than before due to advancements in technology.

Glass ionomer fillings

A mixture of glass and acrylic materials are used to make this type of filling. These are usually used by dentists when children need restorative care. They are used when primary teeth need to be restored. These fillings are commonly used where they do not have much wear and tear – usually avoided on the molars. These dental fillings also support the teeth by releasing fluoride for extra strength to the teeth. That said, when compared with other types of dental fillings these are less sturdy and would replacement earlier than other fillings.

Dental fillings are durable and last long. But constant use can cause damage to them and they would need to be replaced. When there are cracks in the fillings or they look worn out – it is best to check with the dentist. Cracks seen in the filling need to be taken care of immediately, if avoided, they would get challenging and cost more than a normal dental filling.

Dental fillings are there to provide support and strength to the teeth. They restore the teeth to their original appearance and function. But, having these dental procedures would not be an excuse to forgo dental health. Proper oral hygiene measures should not be avoided at all costs. Protecting teeth, keeping them clean and taking care of them is important. Regular dental check-ups will help to maintain good oral health. Guidance during consultations is a good way to make sure one’s teeth are healthy.