Different Types of Dental Fillings

Different Types of Dental Fillings
Posted on 01/24/2019
Tooth Filling
Are you in need of a dental filling? Here's your guide to the different types of dental fillings so you know which one to get.

Keyword(s): dental fillings

It happens to the best of us. You go into the dentist for your checkup, and they find a cavity. You swear you take good care of your teeth, but somehow it's still there, and now you have to get a filling.

Now you have a decision to make. What type of filling should you get? What even are the different types of dental fillings and why does it matter? We'll try to answer all those questions and more in the paragraphs below.


Amalgam dental fillings are made from a mixture of Mercury, which makes up roughly half of it, zinc, silver, tin, and copper. This is one of the most popular fillings and the cheapest. It's also easy to put in and long-lasting.

One downside is that amalgam is silvery in color, so it doesn't look natural. However, a lot of amalgam fillings are put into molars in the back of the mouth, so they're less likely to be noticed.

Amalgam is also more damaging to the tooth than other fillings. It doesn't naturally stick to teeth, so more of the tooth must be chipped away to make room for the fillings.

Finally, amalgam fillings aren't an option if you're allergic to mercury. Only a small part of the population is, though, so most of us need not worry.

Cast Gold Fillings

Cast gold fillings are an alloy material that uses gold for its colorful appearance. It's very similar to other amalgams, except that it's far more expensive and takes longer to put in, at least two visits. Also, if you put a gold filling next to a normal amalgam, there's a chance it will react and produce a painful electric shock. This isn't a particularly dangerous shock, it just hurts very briefly.

Composite Resin

A composite resin is a concoction of glass particles and plastic that is designed to blend in with the rest of the tooth. It also chemically bonds to teeth, making the bond stronger, and is more versatile in what it can be used for.

However, composite resin is more expensive than amalgam, though it's still much cheaper than gold. It also only lasts about half as long and takes a few visits to put in.

Glass Ionomer

Glass Ionomer is a mixture of water, glass powder and a specific type of acid. These three substances produce a chemical reaction that sticks it to the tooth. This type of filling is designed to release fluoride and be more permeable by toothpaste, both of which can help make teeth healthier.

Glass ionomer doesn't last very long, roughly five years, though this number is improving. It is also possible for a tooth to decay when even with a glass ionomer.


This type of filling is most commonly made of porcelain and can cost as much as gold. The good news is that this tends to last at least seven years and possibly much longer.

Ceramic fillings look very similar to teeth and don't stain or get scraped as easily. However, they're prone to chipping, and you may have to cut away some healthier parts of a tooth to make room for them.

Choosing the Right Dental Fillings

There are several different kinds of dental fillings, and which you choose can depend on everything from money to appearance. If you want your filling to look like a natural tooth, try ceramics or composite resin. If you want the cheapest option, go for amalgam. Glass ionomer might help you keep your teeth healthier, and gold is always great for making an impression.

If you want to know more about dentistry, particularly dentistry in Ocala, Florida, please visit our site. We can give you a digital tour of our office, so you know what to expect. We can also answer some questions you may have if you're a new patient.

Yvette Gaya Dentistry

  • Yvette Gaya Dentistry - 3321 S.W. 32nd Ave., Ocala, FL 34474 Phone: 352-622-8897 Fax: 352-622-7345

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