dental fillings

Everything You Need to Know About Your Options for Dental Fillings

Over 90% of adult Americans experience tooth decay in their life.

On top of this, many people accidentally crack or break their teeth as well as damage them through grinding or biting their nails. Because of this, dental fillings are a very common procedure and there is a range of options to choose from.

The treatment is relatively quick and requires the dentist to remove any decay before placing the filling over the exposed area to protect it.

Read on to learn about the different types of fillings and which one is right for you.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are two types of dental filling options available:

  • Indirect – this is where the dentist creates a filling that is molded to fit specifically around your tooth
  • Direct – the dentist places the filling material directly on to the area where the cavity had developed

Your dentist will likely recommend the best option for you and there are a number of materials to choose from.


These dental cavity fillings have been around for over a century and are a simple choice for many.

Made from a metallic mixture of mercury, zinc, silver, tin or copper, they are very durable and can last for many years. They also have a bacteriostatic effect which helps prevent bacteria from reproducing.

However, some people don’t like how noticeable the silver color is on their teeth and it is reported to get darker as the years go on.

If you’re on a budget, this is still a great option that over 100 million other Americans have chosen.

Composite Resins

These dental fillings are made of materials like acrylic resin or powdered glass which means they can have their coloration altered. So instead of having a noticeable metal filling, these can be made in a similar color to your teeth making them blend in.

If you’re self-conscious about how the amalgam filling might look, composite resins are a great option to keep your smile looking natural.

However, it’s worth knowing that compared to metal, these fillings are more fragile and may not last as long. This may mean you’ll have to repeat the procedure in future should the filling wear out.

To help avoid this issue, it’s recommended to only use these fillings for teeth that don’t do as much chewing.


Gold fillings are not just for show, they are actually a very good and functional option.

Because of the metallic properties, these make excellent cavity fillings that are strong and can last a long time. In terms of looks, gold tends to be preferred over amalgam.

Just be aware that it is also one of the more expensive options and as indirect filling, it will require multiple trips to the dentist.


If you want a fully disguised filling, then porcelain may be your best option.

As an indirect filling, it lays over your tooth and blends in to help give you a natural smile. Just like gold, this will require multiple trips to the dentist to get made and placed and the cost is also much higher than some of the other options.

Resin or Glass Ionomer

These are mostly used to treat children’s cavities but do have their uses.

Because of their delicate nature, they are mostly used for adults in parts of decay where there is rarely pressure from chewing.

Enjoy Your Smile

Whatever option you decide to go with, fillings are a great way to protects your teeth and offset any potential problems in the future.

If you’re experiencing any discomfort or haven’t had a checkup in a while, book an appointment with us today.


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San Diego, CA 92109

(858) 272-6047

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