Types of Fillings
There are numerous restorative materials that may be used for fillings. Your dentist will help you decide which material is best for your specific situation. In the past, restorations were often made up of metal amalgam, or “silver fillings”. These amalgam restorations are a mix of different metals and are typically silver in color. While metal fillings are very strong and long lasting, they are not as cosmetic, and patients often don’t like the dark appearance. Bonded composite resin fillings come in various tooth colored shades which allow them to be placed even in front teeth without compromising esthetics. Bonded resin restorations are strong, and blend in with the surrounding natural teeth. Bonded resins are the most common filling type placed today. There is an additional type of bonded filling material called glass ionomer that will slowly release fluoride to help prevent future decay. Glass ionomer is especially useful for patients that are at high risk for developing cavities, or to fill sensitive areas like root surfaces.