A dental fillings is the restoration of decayed, broken, or cracked teeth with different materials. One of the most popular uses of fillings is the filling of a tooth area that has been pulled by the dentist due to caries. Fillings are also used to repair cracked teeth or worn teeth and worn teeth caused by misuse (such as nail-biting or teeth grinding).

What materials are dental fillings made of?

Dental filling materials are:

  • Gold.
  • Porcelain.
  • Silver amalgam (mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper).
  • Tooth-colored, plastic, and glass materials are called composite resin fillings.


The location and extent of the decay, the cost of the filling material, insurance coverage, and the dentist’s advice will help determine the type of filling that will best meet needs.

Do fillers have advantages and disadvantages?

Dental Fillers Advantages

  • Gold Filling
  • It is permanent for at least 10 to 15 years, some people prefer it because its image looks good.

  • Silver fillings (amalgams)
  • They are durable for at least 10 to 15 years, they are preferred because they are cheaper than composite fillings.

  • Tooth-colored composite fillings
  • The shade is close to the color of the existing teeth. Bondings that provide additional support to the existing tooth, in repairs other than cavity fillings

  • Ceramic/porcelain
  • Lasts more than 15 years, more resistant to staining.

  • Glass ionomer (acrylic and a certain type of glass material)
  • Often used for fillings below the gumline, it releases fluoride that can help prevent further decay.


    Dental Fillers Disadvantages


  • Gold Filling
  • More expensive than other materials and may require multiple inspections.

  • Silver fillings (amalgams)
  • May cause an allergic reaction in some people. It gives a grayish color to the teeth around the filled tooth. Since there is a degree of expansion and contraction, there is a higher risk of tooth cracking and fracture.

  • Tooth-colored composite fillings
  • Last for up to five years (less than 10 to 15 years than other materials). Depending on which tooth area it is made, it can shatter the tooth. It costs twice as much as amalgams. It may take more time to place or require extra inspection.

  • Glass ionomer
  • It is weaker and more prone to corrosion than composite resin. It takes five years or less. Its cost is almost the same as composite fillings.

What are indirect fillings?

Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings, but they are made in a dental laboratory and require multiple examinations before they can be applied. Indirect fillings are applied when there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling, that is when the teeth are insufficient for filling.

The dentist first removes the old or decayed filling. Impressions are taken to ensure that the repaired tooth and the surrounding teeth are the same. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory. A temporary teeth filling is made during restoration to protect the tooth. At the second examination, the temporary filling is removed and the dentist evaluates the suitability of the indirect restoration. If the teeth prepared according to the measure taken are compatible with the tooth structure, it is applied to the patient.

  • Inlays
  • If only one surface (upper or side) of the tooth is damaged, filling applications that completely close the tooth cavity and strengthen the tooth structure are called inlay fillings.

  • Onlays
  • If both the top and side of a tooth are damaged, the applications that strengthen the tooth structure and increase the stability of the tooth as well as closing the openings are called onlay fillings.

How is dental filling applied?

First, the dentist numbs the area around the tooth to be treated with a local anesthetic. Next, a dental drill, air abrasive tool, and laser are used to remove the carious area. The choice of instrument depends on the comfort level of the dentist, the availability of certain equipment, training, and the location and extent of the decay.

The dentist will then examine or test the area during treatment to determine if all the decay has been removed. After cleaning the area, the dentist will clean the cavity from bacteria and debris and prepare a cavity for filling. If the caries are close to the root, the dentist may first use a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or another material to protect the nerve.

After the dentist removes caries and cleans the area, the tooth-colored material is applied to the tooth in layers. It then applies a special light treatment that “hardens” each layer.
When the multi-layered process is complete, the dentist shapes the composite material to the desired result, smoothes out the excess material, and completes the final restoration.