Tooth Fillings

A filling is used when a tooth has decay, is chipped, has a small break, or when over worn  due to grinding, or nail biting. Fillings fill the cavity, preserve the remaining tooth, and perhaps eliminate the need for a crown, a root canal, or an extraction.

There are several materials used for fillings:

Composite Resin– Composite, or “white” fillings are the most common filling placed in our office. Composite resin is made of glass or quartz  and a resin base. Composite fillings are long lasting and durable. Composite resin resembles natural tooth color and contains no metal. It can be shaped to achieve a natural looking tooth, and is used for bonding and repairing front teeth.

Amalgam– Amalgam, or “silver” fillings are a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. This compound creates a strong, hard, and durable filling. Amalgam fillings generally last longer than composite fillings. While not used very often in our office, there are instances when it is the best option for a successful, durable, low cost filling. Amalgam is a good choice in areas difficult to keep dry, or for cavities below the gumline.

Inlays, or Onlays– An alternative to composite, or amalgam, fillings are lab fabricated inlays, or onlays. Inlays and onlays are made of either gold or porcelain.  They are made from molds taken of the prepared tooth, and then cemented or bonded in place.They produce long lasting and durable fillings, but require two dental appointments, and are more costly.