Different Types of Dental Fillings

Dentist checking child’s teethSometimes a trip to the dentist can lead to some disappointing news: you have a cavity and are in need of a dental filling. Fortunately, there are a variety of filling materials available to fit both your needs and the severity of the cavity. If your Boulder dentist informs you that you are in need of dental fillings, understanding the different types of materials can help you make the best decision for your mouth.

Amalgam: Amalgam fillings are considered the “classic” option and are a mixture of different metals, including mercury, tin, copper, silver, or zinc. They are strong, long-lasting, and the most affordable filling option.

Composite: Composite fillings are made from a mixture of powdered glass and acrylic resin and offer some advantages over amalgam fillings. With composite materials, the filling can be colored to match the existing teeth so that the filling is nearly invisible.

Gold: Gold fillings are one of the most durable and long-lasting options on the market. However, it is also the most expensive. Gold fillings can last up to two decades before needing to be replaced, but also require longer time in the dentist’s chair for the application.

Porcelain: Similar to gold, porcelain fillings also require more than one visit and can be rather expensive. Though porcelain fillings tend to look more like a natural tooth, they’re much more fragile than any of the other filling materials.

Resin or Glass Ionomer: This material is perfect for when children wind up with cavities in their baby teeth. Resin or glass ionomer fillings are used to fill in small areas of decay in the primary teeth to last until the child loses them. Unfortunately, these filling materials are quite fragile and are not recommended for adult fillings.