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Dr.Michael Richer

Doctor of Dental Surgery

Graduated from the State University of Buffalo with a Bachelors in Biology

Graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry

Ranked among the Top 10 Dental Schools in North America

The Different Types of Fillings and How a Filling Dentist Can Help You

Written By: Dr. Michael Richer

Sometimes, even with the best oral health care, you may wind up with cavities. Your dentist will usually recommend a filling to help preserve your natural teeth, especially when the cavity is still on the small side. But not all fillings are the same. There are a variety of types that may be suitable for your situation.

Dental fillings help your dentist repair and restore damaged teeth. As decay spreads, it can destroy the inside of your tooth. With fillings, they create a barrier by sealing the cavity and preventing bacteria from further harming your tooth. If you leave a cavity untreated, it could get worse and cause pain, likely resulting in the need to have the entire tooth extracted.

The sooner you have your dentist fill a cavity, the better off you’ll be. Since there are different dental fillings, you should learn more about each type to see which one may be your best fit.

What Are the 5 Different Types of Dental Fillings?

Take a look at these 5 different kinds of dental fillings. Your dentist will also be able to tell you which of them may be a good option for filling your cavity based on where it is located.


Amalgam tooth fillings are the most common type of dental filling. They are often called silver fillings since they are primarily composed of silver. Along with silver, these metal alloys are made up of mercury, zinc, and copper. They are widely chosen for filling cavities because they are incredibly sturdy, making them ideal for back teeth. Amalgam tooth fillings are durable and will typically last 10 years or more.


Composite tooth fillings are made with a composite resin material that is the same color as your teeth. Your dentist can pick a shade of this filling that most closely matches your natural teeth, giving you more aesthetic results. While they do blend in seamlessly with your own teeth, they are not quite as sturdy as other options.

While you might not want composite tooth fillings on your back teeth, they are a smart option for any cavities on your front teeth. They are more expensive, especially when compared with amalgam tooth fillings.


Ceramic tooth fillings use porcelain as the main material. Like composite tooth fillings, porcelain is also similar to teeth in color. However, porcelain is a sturdier material when compared to composite tooth fillings. This means that you can keep up the aesthetic in your mouth and get the strength needed to protect your back teeth. As with composite tooth fillings, ceramic materials are a more expensive option than amalgam.

Glass Ionomers

Glass ionomers fillings or acrylic fillings are not as durable as the others. They are much like glass, making them more suitable for pediatric dentistry. While they tend to only last five years, these glass ionomers release fluoride on the teeth. This will help strengthen teeth and is useful for preventive dental care for children by protecting their other teeth from cavities.


Gold fillings are incredibly sturdy, but they’re much more expensive than the other options. They last a long time though, so gold fillings may be a good investment for you.

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How to Choose the Right Dental Fillings

Talking with your dentist about the available fillings is a good place to start. It will generally be a matter of your preferences along with a few other factors.

For example, if you have a cavity on one of your back teeth, you may not care about using amalgam fillings. However, if you have a cavity on one of your front teeth, you will want to choose composite or ceramic to match your natural teeth.

Location is also important when it comes to the sturdiness of the material. The teeth in the back of your mouth need to be strong for chewing. If your cavity is back there, you’re going to want to choose amalgam, ceramic, or gold fillings.

While budget is likely a concern for you too, the cheapest option may not be best. If you spend a little more on a more durable option, you will not have to worry about having your filling fixed again.

How Filling Dentists Help Families Smile More

It is incredibly frustrating when you brush and floss, yet you wind up with a cavity. Some people are more prone to them than others. But if the dentist alerts you to a cavity in your mouth or your child’s, you should not delay in getting it filled.

Dental fillings prevent the spread of infection. While you may take good care of your teeth, some areas are more difficult to reach. These areas may be the perfect place for plaque to accumulate. Regularly visiting your dentist every six months will keep the possibility of cavities down to a minimum.

But be forewarned that cavities still may pop up, especially in children. If your child complains that it hurts or feels sore when they eat or bite down, this may be a sign that there’s a cavity. The sooner you come in for a dental exam, the faster it can be treated. It is easier to restore a tooth with a smaller cavity instead of waiting for it to destroy the tooth. At that point, it may be too late to save the tooth, and it will cause a bit of discomfort. 

If you’re in Hicksville, NY, or the surrounding area, R+R Dental can help you and your family smile more by removing dental decay. With tooth filling options, you can choose the best one to fit your needs and be proud of your smile again. Seeking a dentist near Plainview, Westbury, Bethpage, Jericho, Meadow, Levittown? Call R+R Dental for an appointment today, whether you want to keep up a healthy dental routine with a cleaning or if you have a cavity that needs to be filled.

Michael Richer

Graduated from the State University of Buffalo with a Bachelors in Biology

Graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry

Ranked among the Top 10 Dental Schools in North America

754 S. Broadway

Hicksville, NY 11801

(516) 874-7834

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