Know Your Material Options When Filling A Cavity

Did your dentist find a cavity in one of your teeth during your most recent visit? If so, you'll definitely need to return to have the cavity filled. However, there are a variety of different materials to choose from. You may decide to get a basic filling or one that cosmetically matches the surface of your teeth so that it blends in seamlessly.


An amalgam filling is known for being incredibly strong and capable of lasting for many years. It also has a very low cost associated with the material, which helps people on a budget. Unfortunately, the silver appearance means that it is not best for visible surfaces of the teeth, and that is why it is often in rear molars. Amalgam also does not adhere to the tooth's surface, so the dentist needs to make a small lip on the inside part of the filling for the amalgam to fill and grip onto.

Composite Resin

A composite resin filling is going to have the same color as your natural teeth, and is a very popular choice for fillings because of this. The filling material also bonds with the tooth, so less of the tooth's surface needs to be removed to place a composite resin filling in a tooth. Some downsides to using composite resin are that they can cost more money than amalgam fillings, and the material doesn't last as long either.

Glass Ionomer

What makes a glass ionomer filling unique is that it is made up of a combination of acrylic and glass. The filling can also release fluoride over time, which will strengthen the tooth that is in a weakened state due to needing a filling. The material is also versatile enough to be used for cracks and chips as well, which is due to how well it bonds to a tooth. Be aware that your dentist may not have experience with using glass ionomer fillings, so it may not be an option unless you go to a different dentist.


Porcelain fillings are also called onlays or inlays, and they are made out of a ceramic material that is matched to the color of your teeth. The end result is that the filling is virtually invisible, while also being incredibly durable as well. The main downside to using a porcelain filling is that it will require two visits to create the filling material, since it needs to be matched to the unique shape of your tooth beforehand.

For more information, contact a cosmetic dentistry office near you.