What Are Dental Fillings Used For?

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are materials used to restore part of a broken or damaged tooth and protect the tooth from further damage, making it easier for the patient to chew food. There are different types of materials used for fillings; the type used is typically recommended by the dentist, depending on the size of the damage to the tooth.

How do you know if you need dental fillings?

If you have cavities in your teeth, broken or cracked teeth or worn-down teeth, dental fillings can be used to fix your problem. In some cases, fillings can also be used to cover the pulp in your teeth after a root canal, depending on how much of the tooth remains.

What are dental fillings made out of?

In the past, fillings used to be made out of metals like gold or silver. Metal fillings are very durable and can last for decades. However, most people do not like the appearance of metal, and thanks to technology, they are not limited to metal fillings anymore.

These days, there are several options to choose from, and your dentist will recommend the best one based on your insurance plan, personal preferences and the size of the hole you are trying to fix.

Composite resin

These are made from different materials like silica or ceramic. They can be colored to blend in with your teeth, which is one of the reasons they are the most commonly used fillings. When using composite resin, your dentist does not have to remove as much material from your tooth as they would with metal fillings.

Since composite resin fillings are not as strong as metal fillings, they do not last as long, which means you will have to have the filling replaced at least once every 10 years.

Metal fillings

Even though they are not as popular as they used to be, metal fillings are still used to fill holes in teeth, especially on molars because they cannot be seen when people smile. Gold fillings are the most durable and can last for decades or an entire lifetime. Silver fillings are also durable and last over 10 years. Some dentists also use a blend of metals like tin, mercury and silver.

Porcelain fillings

Porcelain fillings are the most expensive type of dental fillings, but they last longer than composite resin. They are more commonly used for inlays on worn teeth than they are for cavities.

Glass ionomer

This is made from a specific glass material and acrylic, and it is used for fillings in children and fillings below the gum line. The ionomers release fluoride to help protect the decaying tooth from further damage. However, it is weaker than composite resin and usually lasts less than five years.


Dental fillings are not only used for cavities, they are also used to fix chipped or fractured teeth and help prevent tooth decay. If you think you need fillings, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your mouth examined and figure out what your best option is.

Are you considering dental fillings in the Alexandria area? Get more dental fillings information at https://cameronstationdentalcare.com.

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