Dental Fillings – An Overview

dental filling

dental fillingOne of the main professional responsibilities of any dentist in is to use fillings to treat cavities. Using fillings is a time-tested technique proven to alleviate pain and discomfort from cavities. Dental fillings types, costs and methods differ depending on the case, and the dentist who performs the procedure.

Here is an introduction to dental fillings.

Two Types of Fillings

A dentist uses two types of fillings. The first is the amalgam type, the oldest one, which is around for quite some time now. This type comprises silver, mercury, copper, tin and other metals. Most amalgams take the color of its primary component, silver.

The second type is a resin or composite, which is one of the latest advances in filling technology. These consist of quartz and glass fillers in a base of resin, and match the natural color of teeth.

While the fundamental purpose of using fillings is to treat cavities, according to South Loop Dentistry each filling type has its own pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of the Two Types


Amalgam fillings are durable and easily usable, resistant against wear and tear, and more importantly, inexpensive. These can take on higher chewing loads and find great use in filling up molars, which naturally take the greatest stresses in chewing. These also seldom show any allergic reactions.

Still, amalgam is noticeable when you open your mouth, and may cause short-term sensitivity. Another is a “galvanic shock”, where the silver becomes a conductor for a small electric shock due to various reasons.

Composite Fillings

Composites are durable as well, resistant to fractures and are generally less noticeable. Composite fillings also have the ability to bond with the teeth.

A disadvantage of a composite filling is that it takes longer to place the filling and may stain and discolor over longer periods than silver amalgams.

No matter the type of filling you prefer, these devices serve to fill up the holes in your teeth and prevent further damage. Each type suits a particular person, or even the type of teeth.

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