Understanding Different Types of Dental Fillings

Imagine biting into a juicy apple and feeling an unexpected crunch, only to find out it’s a chipped tooth. It’s a startling moment. You start worrying about the pain, the look of your smile, and of course, the solution. As a general dentist, I see this scenario often. When I think about the solution, I’m reminded of the role dental fillings play. They are not just for filling gaps but they are also crucial for maintaining overall oral health. Today, let’s dive into the world of dental fillings. It’s as simple and fascinating as sacramento teeth whitening. We’ll explore the different types and what they mean for you.

The Basics of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings come in many forms. They are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth. There are four major types – amalgam, composite, gold, and porcelain. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are the classic silver fillings. Think of the old movies. They’re durable, lasting up to 15 years, and they’re also the least costly. However, they are more noticeable than other types of fillings and may cause some discomfort due to temperature sensitivity.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are the chameleons of the dental world. They can be made to match the color of your teeth. So, you get a filled tooth without the obvious silver spot. They’re great for the front teeth. However, composite fillings may not last as long as other types, typically staying strong for about 5 years.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are incredibly durable. They can last more than 20 years. They’re strong, and some people love the look. However, gold fillings are the most expensive type, and they require multiple visits to place.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings, or inlays, are a kind of hybrid. They’re a filling-crown combo. They’re custom made to fit your tooth and are then cemented into place. They can match your tooth color, resist staining, and are quite durable. However, like gold, they’re more expensive than other options.

Choosing the Right Filling

Your choice of filling will depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and dental health needs. Your dentist can help guide you in making the best choice. After all, a filled tooth is a happy tooth.


When it comes to dental fillings, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your tooth, your preference, and your wallet all play a role. But don’t worry. Just like teeth whitening, there’s a solution out there that will have you smiling in no time.