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Different Filling Types Available

Posted in cosmetic dentistry, Dental Care, Dental Implant, and General Dentistry

Filling Types

Tooth restorations and fillings use various types of materials. Over many years, product innovations have changed the way teeth are restored and protected. The most routine use of fillings is to fill a cavity in a tooth. However, tooth fillings are also used to repair damage caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), fix part of a Brocken tooth, or to secure a crown.

Today there are many products to choose from for tooth fillings. Some cost more, some last longer than others, some look better, and some have qualities better suited for certain situations. Which is best for you could depend on cost, your insurance coverage, and your aesthetic preferences. Your Waterloo Dentist most commonly uses composite resins.  

Composite Resins

Composite fillings, sometimes called “composites” or “filled resins”, are dental cements made of synthetic resins. Composites are popular as they can be made to match your tooth color. Unlike most other fillings, they are not easily noticed by others. They are discreet, and aesthetically beautiful. Composite resins are also durable and can be used in moderate impact areas of the mouth. The nature of resins also makes them practical for small to mid-size restorations.


Although “not placed as much”, Amalgam (a composite of mercury, silver, and other metals) is exceptionally durable and can last many years, even in high impact areas of the mouth (molars). This type of filling has been used by dentists for over a century. Because of its ingredients, it is by far the most researched filling material. Some have suggested that since amalgam contains the toxic substance mercury, it is responsible for several diseases, but there is no evidence to support such claims. Amalgam is grey metallic in color; therefore, it can be noticeable when you laugh or smile. Because of its low cost and durability amalgam was once more generally used.


If requested, Erbsville Dental will install Gold Crowns. This is the longest lasting material used for fillings. That’s good because gold can cost as much as 10 times regular amalgam! Gold was one of the first materials used to fill teeth, dating back to 800 BC where ancient Italians (Etruscans) used it. Since the 1800’s dentists started to use gold as a practical and functional material for filling teeth with cavities. Singer & songwriter Nelly is said to have made gold teeth popular today after his 2005 hit song “Grillz”. The lyrics tell people to “add the whole top diamond and the bottom row’s gold”. Like amalgam, it is noticeable when you smile or laugh, but maybe that’s the intention anyway.

Other Filling Types

Ceramic fillings often made of porcelain are sometimes used in dentistry because they resist staining much more effectively than composite resins. Cost though, has kept ceramic from overreaching composites in popularity as it can be almost as expensive as gold.

In recent years Glass Ionomer fillings have become more popular. This type of filling is a mixture of glass and acrylic. Although it has the unique ability to release fluoride over time, it lacks the durability of other filling materials and is usually replaced in as little as five years. Glass Ionomers can be mixed to different viscosities; from semi-solid to liquid, making them useful in some reconstructive situations.

Erbsville Dental (Kitchener-Waterloo)

Do you have questions about the different types of fillings Erbsville Dental provides? We are happy to answer your questions via email or phone. If you have a cavity that needs to be fixed or a filling that needs to be replaced, don’t wait. In some situations, conditions could deteriorate quickly, to the point of loosing your tooth. Call Us Today 519-342-1166

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.