What are the different types of dental fillings available?

 

Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

Composite resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are placed directly into the cavity, where they harden under an intense blue light. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.

Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration is the best tooth coloured material for a filling.

The area surrounded by the red line is a composite resin filling placed by Dr Cheuk. The tooth next door is an old filling that will require replacement soon.

The area surrounded by the red line is a composite resin filling placed by Dr Cheuk. The tooth next door is an old filling that will require replacement soon.

This first molar (biggest tooth in the middle of the photo) has a porcelain onlay by Dr Cheuk. It is most aesthetic and long lasting.

This first molar (biggest tooth in the middle of the photo) has a porcelain onlay by Dr Cheuk. It is most aesthetic and long lasting.

What are the benefits of getting dental fillings? 

  • Quick procedure: When only one tooth is affected by decay, the filling can be completed in as little as one hour
  • Protect your teeth: If you tooth has a cavity, not treated, it will become worse and eventually you will lose your tooth.
  • Appearance: Tooth-colored filling restorations produce a natural appearance and feel. The aim is to restore your tooth to its former glory.

Are there any potential side effects of getting fillings?

  • Sensitivity: Some patients experience sensitivity to hot and cold in the weeks following the procedure, especially for deep fillings.

 

Click here to learn about the technical details in how fillings are placed