Dental fillings are one of the most comprehensive and reliable treatments for damaged teeth. In most cases, dental fillings are used to repair holes caused by decay or chips and cracks that result from daily wear and tear or injury. But dental fillings aren’t always a one-size-fits-all treatment. There are multiple types of materials that can be used for dental fillings, and not all of them are created equal.

Keep reading to learn more about the most common and effective types of dental fillings and how to choose which one is right for you.

What are dental fillings?

Fillings are treatments used to restore the cosmetic appearance, functioning, and structural integrity of a tooth with a cavity. 

In order to treat a cavity, we must remove any decayed part of the tooth in question and then fill the hole or gap in the enamel of the tooth from which the decayed material was removed. 

Dental fillings can be used to repair:

  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • Teeth that have been worn down over time or from tooth grinding
  • Decayed teeth

Porcelain dental fillings

Porcelain dental fillings (often called ceramic fillings) look natural, are aesthetically pleasing, resistant to staining, and can last up to 15 years with proper care.  

However, they tend to be more expensive when compared to other common types of fillings, and the porcelain can cause wear and tear on surrounding teeth, which can lead to a rough or misshapen texture.

Gold dental fillings

Gold dental fillings are exceptional in terms of strength and durability. They are resistant to daily wear and tear and won’t damage your teeth. While many people like the look of a gold filling, they may not be the right choice for someone who wants a natural-looking result.

One of the most evident downsides of gold fillings is that they can be far more expensive when compared to other options. Not only is the material itself pricy, but it will probably require more than one visit.

Mercury-amalgam dental fillings

Mercury amalgam or silver dental fillings have been used in restorative dentistry for more than 150 years. They’re effective in terms of providing strength and protection from external wear and tear and are a relatively inexpensive option.

However, amalgam dental fillings have become less popular in recent years among both dentists and patients for a few reasons. 

For example, they’re more likely to retract and expand with changing temperatures, which leaves the tooth at risk of fracturing. They also have a distinct silver appearance, which many patients find unappealing. The presence of mercury (a toxic material) can also have an impact on your nervous system, kidneys, and immune system.

Composite dental fillings

Composite dental fillings are made from environmentally friendly quartz-like materials and are a popular modern treatment for damaged or cracked teeth. They are highly customizable, meaning they can provide an exact color match. They also bond directly to the tooth’s surface, which allows you to retain most of your natural tooth.

With proper dental care, your composite dental filling can last up to 10 years. Some wear and tear is inevitable with daily activities such as chewing and talking. But brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental exams will go a long way to maintaining the integrity of your restoration.

Which type of dental filling is right for you?

The right dental filling for you will depend on the location and severity of the damage or decay, your dental insurance coverage, and personal preferences. For the vast majority of patients, composite dental fillings offer the best combination of aesthetic value, structural support, versatility, durability, convenience, and comfort.

For many years, the majority of dental practices only offered mercury-amalgam fillings. At Timberhill Dental, we use composite fillings because we know that they offer the highest quality results for patients in terms of both function and cosmetics. 

Compared to other types of dental fillings, the composite fillings we use at Timberhill Dental:

  • Are less toxic and more environmentally friendly
  • Seamlessly blend with your natural teeth for a beautiful and subtle look
  • Require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure
  • Bond directly to the surface of your real tooth
  • Improve the structural integrity of your smile
  • Stand the test of time

Get advanced, patient-centered dental care and treatment in Corvallis, OR at Timberhill Dental

Our skilled and compassionate team of dentists, hygienists, and administrative professionals are committed to making a real difference in the lives of our patients. 

At Timberhill Dental, we provide high-tech, minimally invasive dental care in a comfortable and warm environment. We believe every individual and family should have access to high-quality, affordable, and comprehensive dental care, and it’s our mission to always put our patients first. We’re here to listen to your specific needs, goals, and concerns and help you get the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

Give us a call at (541) 754-0144 or contact us online to get your questions answered and schedule an appointment.