Which Type of Tooth Filling is Best?

 Which Type of Tooth Filling is Best?

Dental fillings are often used to repair teeth that have been damaged or broken due to decay or trauma. While you may think there’s only one type of filling material, there are actually several options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks that may make it better suited to a specific patient or situation. Below are some of the most common types of dental fillings and why they may be best in certain situations.


Water fluoridation has had a huge impact on oral health worldwide, including here in America. It’s been linked to reduced cavities and dental decay, as well as overall better oral health for people with both low and high incomes. This means that you don’t have to be rich or poor to maintain healthy teeth—you just need fluoride. However, not all tooth fillings are created equal: In some cases, water-based composite fillings are best; in others, fluoride-releasing ones are optimal. The easiest way to figure out which type of filling your mouth needs is by having a dentist check it out and let you know which type would work best!

Whatever type you ultimately decide on, though, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to research your options. You want a filling that won’t harm your body or worsen any issues down the line—that’s why patience is so key! After all, if something goes wrong now because of a faulty tooth filling, many unpleasant procedures might await you later. So talk to your dentist before committing to anything.

Composite/tooth colored fillings

Composite fillings are made from a combination of ingredients, including resin and colored pigments. These fillings look natural and blend into your tooth, so they’re usually more appealing than silver fillings. The downside: Composite fillings may not last as long as silver ones do, although some dentists say they can last 10 years or longer. To find out how durable composite fillings are in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

A lot depends on factors like whether you have other teeth that need to be filled, too, and if you grind your teeth at night (this is called bruxism). Silver amalgam fillings: Silver amalgam has been used for about 100 years to repair cavities. It’s also one of only two types of dental materials approved by the U.S.


The resin used for composite fillings is glass or plastic filled with colored dyes to match your natural tooth color. The glass or plastic that makes up these fillings reflects light, which can reduce sensitivity and mimic a natural tooth, but it won’t last as long as other types of fillings. Resin fillings are often less expensive than others since they use less materials and take less time to place in your mouth. This filling material doesn’t require anesthesia during placement and you shouldn’t experience any sensitivity after a filling made from resin sets. The biggest downside to using resins for tooth fillings is they don’t last as long as some other filling materials; they may need replacing every three to five years.

Mercury (amalgam)

There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to remove your mercury fillings. The biggest concern is that mercury exposure has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. As such, people with genetic predispositions toward these conditions should probably err on the side of caution and avoid amalgam fillings altogether. For everyone else, though, I think a better question might be: Should you replace them at all?


The New Generation of Dental Fillings : Dentists have been using fillings to fill cavities in teeth for a long time. But not all fillings are created equal, and newer ones like zirconia are slowly becoming more popular. Zirconia (or zirconium oxide) dental fillings have some very appealing characteristics: they’re tough and durable, but also relatively tooth-colored and bio-compatible. There’s even some evidence that when bonded to dentin (the inner layer of tooth beneath enamel), they can help speed up reparative dentin growth. Bottom line: if you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime, talk with your dentist about whether zirconia is right for you.

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