Different Types of Dental Fillings

Different Types of Dental Fillings

Jan 05, 2022

Having tooth cavities is nothing new. They are also among the leading cause of tooth loss. Cavities can be caused by several factors, including poor oral hygiene or an underlying issue such as xerostomia (dry mouth). Regardless of how tooth decay occurs, you don’t have to wait for the situation to worsen.

However, there are dental fillings in Burlington, ON, that are used to repair decayed teeth and return your teeth to their glory days.

Tooth fillings have evolved over the years, and now there are several types of fillings created from different materials that can meet your needs and preferences.

Types of Fillings

At Harbourview Dental, we have several types of dental fillings in Burlington, ON, that you can choose from to suit you. However, for you to get the correct type of filling, you might need to consider the following:

  • The cost
  • Location of the tooth filling
  • History of allergic reaction to metal
  • The extent of the damage

When you have discussed the above issues with our dentist, you can go ahead and pick the filling that will meet your specific needs. And the choices are:

Gold Fillings

The cast gold fillings are not made from pure gold but are a mixture of several metals, including copper. Gold fillings have been used for decades and are known for their durability. Here are some of the pros and cons:


  • Since they are created from metal, they can last at least for a decade, and at times, even serve you for 15 years or more
  • They don’t corrode
  • They are sturdy and can withstand the chewing force, making them suitable for back teeth restorations
  • Gum tissues seem to tolerate gold fillings


  • Gold fillings will cost you a bit more than getting other options. They can even be approximately ten times more expensive than silver fillings
  • Getting gold fillings might mean that you need additional dental visits
  • If you have a silver filling close to the gold filling, you might experience galvanic shock (sharp pain). This happens due to the interaction between saliva and metals.
  • Most patients don’t like the metal color and would prefer that the fillings match the color of their teeth

Silver (Amalgam) Fillings

The amalgam fillings are created from various metals, such as silver, copper, and tin. They also contain 50% elemental mercury that is used to bind together the different materials to form an amalgam.

These mercury fillings have the following pros and cons:


  • Amalgam fillings are known for their durability. They can serve you for approximately 10 or 15 years
  • They can withstand the chewing forces, so they are also excellent back tooth restorations
  • They are a bit pocket-friendly as compared to composite fillings


  • Most people don’t like how they look since they don’t match the color of their teeth
  • Too much tooth structure may need to be removed to accommodate the filling
  • They are known to cause a greyish hue on the surrounding tooth
  • These fillings have a wider degree of expansion as compared to the other materials. So, this can cause your tooth to crack or fracture
  • Some people have allergic reactions to amalgam restorations because of the mercury

Composite Fillings

These fillings are created from powdered glass and acrylic resin (plastic). They are a favorite among many people since they can match the color of natural teeth. Here are the pros and cons:


  • They bond to the tooth structure, which provides further support to the tooth
  • They have excellent aesthetics since they match the color of your teeth
  • They are versatile since they can repair a tooth cavity, broken, chipped, and worn teeth
  • They need less space to accommodate them, so more tooth structure will remain intact


  • They wear out much faster than amalgam or gold fillings. So they can last roughly five years or more
  • They are prone to chipping, but this depends on the location of the filling
  • They are more expensive than amalgam fillings
  • They are not stain-resistant

Worthy Mentions

Porcelain Fillings

These are also tooth-colored fillings that are created from porcelain. They are more durable than composite fillings and can serve you nearly as long as silver and gold fillings. Plus, they are stain-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about staining.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

These fillings are made from acrylic and special glass. The filling is best suited for you if you need a filling below the gum line. They also help strengthen the teeth since they release fluoride to protect the teeth from further decay. But don’t expect them to last longer since they are a bit weaker than the other fillings.

In any case, fillings will help improve your oral health. Contact us at Harbourview Dental if you need dental fillings.

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