December 18, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Fillings  

Find out which filling could give you the smile you want.

It seems inevitable that at some point in your life you will be faced with a cavity; however defeated you may feel, you would be surprised how easy it is to treat the problem. Your Durham, NC dentist easily removes the decay with a drill and then places a filling over the removed enamel to protect and restore the tooth. However, there are several types of fillings, so it might be hard to choose. Here are the most common fillings and when they are used.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are often made from a mixture of different metals including copper, silver, tin and mercury, to name a few. Most of the time, mercury is used in these types of fillings; however, some dentists may opt for fillings that do not contain mercury.

Durability: These fillings are very strong are usually last about seven year or longer.

Pros: They are the least expensive type of filling, which often makes them more appealing; they are very strong and durable; they can be completed in only one dental visit.

Cons: They don’t match your tooth’s natural color; patients can be sensitive or allergic to mercury; healthy tooth enamel may also need to be removed to make room for this specific filling.

Composite Resin

Composite resin fillings are made from both plastic and particles of fine glass. There are two ways that a composite resin can be placed on the tooth. Your dentist may opt to shape and mold the resin and then harden it using a light beam. However, we may also remove the decay, take an impression of the tooth and then send it to a lab so they can fabricate your filling. Then you will come back for a second visit so we can place the resin filling in your tooth. These types of fillings are often used for the front, or more visible teeth.

Durability: Composite resin fillings last about five years.

Pros: They match your tooth’s color; some fillings can be completed in one visit; they bond directly to the tooth to make it stronger.

Cons: They cost more than amalgam fillings; they aren’t as strong as amalgam fillings, particularly under chewing forces; some fillings require multiple visits.


Ceramic fillings are normally made from porcelain and are often used because they are aesthetically pleasing, since they match the color of your tooth.

Durability: These fillings last anywhere from five to seven years.

Pros: They are also tooth-colored and also stain-resistant.

Cons: These fillings aren’t as strong a composite resin; healthy parts of the tooth may need to be removed to make room for this filling; if the filling becomes rough it can wear down other healthy teeth.

Your Durham, NC dentist would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your filling options and which one might work best for you. Call us today if you need to schedule your upcoming appointment.