The Many Materials for Dental Fillings and their Benefits

Maintaining oral hygiene is critical for overall health and well-being. Despite regular brushing and flossing, dental decay can still happen. Dental fillings provide a popular and effective solution to treat dental decay and restore the health of your teeth.

There are various materials for dental fillings, and this blog will explore each type.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are the conventional type of dental fillings, composed of a blend of metals such as silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They are durable, affordable and can withstand the pressures of chewing. Additionally, they come in silver colour, which can be an advantage for those who want to match their silver teeth fillings with their teeth’s natural colour. However, their metallic appearance can look unattractive in certain teeth, particularly for those who desire a beautiful and natural-looking smile. Moreover, amalgam fillings contain mercury, which has raised some concerns in the past.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth-coloured materials made of resin and used for mid-size cavities. With outstanding durability and aesthetics, it can perfectly blend with the colour of your teeth, making it the top choice for patients seeking a visually appealing smile in the field of restorative dentistry. Composite fillings aim to preserve the natural tooth structure, making them an ideal option for front teeth or visible areas. However, it is prone to staining, has a shorter lifespan than amalgam fillings, and can’t endure excessive pressure from chewing.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings have been around for centuries and, in the past, were the standard of care for fillings in dentistry. They are long-lasting, biocompatible, and are known for their strength and durability. They can sustain the pressure from chewing as closely as natural teeth can. However, they are expensive, and as they don't match the teeth’s natural colour, they are not suitable for front teeth.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings, also known as porcelain fillings, provide the most natural-looking appearance of any filling material. They are stain-resistant, biocompatible, and durable enough to last several years. Because they mimic the colour and texture of natural teeth, they are an aesthetically pleasing option for patients desiring a highly aesthetic restoration. However, they are more fragile than composite or amalgam fillings, and, in case of fractures, they must be replaced.

Glass Ionomer

Glass ionomer fillings are primarily composed of a mixture of acrylic and glass powder. They mimic the look of teeth enamel, making them a suitable option for front teeth restoration, especially in paediatric dentistry. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay, making them suitable for root caries, especially in individuals with poor oral hygiene. Glass ionomer fillings are not very hard-wearing and can be less durable than other fillings, making them suitable only for small cavities or temporary fillings.