Types of dental filling and procedure

Posted in Dentist

What is dental filling? – A filling a process to repair a tooth damaged by decay so that it returns back to its normal shape and function. A dentist carries out this procedure by first removing the decayed tooth material, cleaning the affected area, and then the cleaned cavity filled with any filling material.

Usually materials used for filling the affected tooth include porcelain, gold, an amalgam (an alloy of silver, mercury, tin, copper, and sometimes zinc), and a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings).

Which is the best filling?

Choosing the right filling material is a curial step in tooth filling procedure, not all fillings are suitable for everyone. The choice of filling material is determined by the extent of the damage, allergic to a particular material, the area where the filling is required, and cost of the material used.  Considerations for the material used include:

  • Gold fillings – These are produced to order in a laboratory and then bonded into place. Gold fillings are well tolerated by gum tissues and can last for more than 20 years. Because of its long-lasting properties, dentists consider gold the best filling material. The gold filling is the most expensive material to be used in tooth filling and also requires multiple visits.


  • Porcelain fillings - also called onlays or inlays and are manufactured to order in a lab and then cemented to the tooth. Its cost is almost similar to gold fillings and can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining.


  • Amalgam (silver) fillings - these are resistant to wear and comparatively less expensive. But, due to their dark color, and are more noticeable than composite restorations or porcelain, they are not usually used in front teeth.


  • Composite (plastic) resins – these are of the same color as your teeth and hence used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directed into the cavity, where they harden. This material may not be appropriate for large fillings as they may chip or wear with time.


Dental filling procedure

This procedure has three major steps, which include:

  1. Consultation and planning
  2. The procedure
  3. Follow-up