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What Is the Best Material for Dental Fillings?

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

Dental fillings put a stop to decay and help to restore the shape of your natural tooth. Tooth decay can affect the health and functionality of your teeth, which can lead to problems in biting and chewing as well as other dental issues. At Broadway Family Dental, Dr. Ella Dekhtyar takes care of your dental problems and recommends the best filling material depending on your dental needs, timeframe, and severity of cavities. She explains the benefits of the various types of fillings and ensures you understand which one will work best for your teeth. Dr. Dekhtyar uses the most advanced dental techniques and procedures to offer the highest quality care in cosmetic dentistry that helps you smile more and better.

Getting a filling is a straightforward procedure for filling a cavity or hole in the tooth. If your tooth hurts due to tooth decay or is damaged due to trauma, your dentist may recommend filling to help your tooth look and work at its best, keeping it safe from other dental problems.

Your dentist will find damage to the structure of a tooth by examining your mouth carefully, or by having a dental x-ray.

What Are Tooth Fillings?

Tooth fillings are dental materials that fill up a cavity on a tooth to restore its appearance and functionality. Fillings are not only used to treat cavities but can also be used in tooth injury cases such as chipping or cracking or if teeth have worn down due to misuse and protect the structure of a tooth from further damage.

Dental fillings are single or combinations of metals or other materials and help to repair and restore teeth so that you can look and feel better. The dentist will remove the decayed portion and then fill the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Types of Dental Fillings

Dental Filling Materials

Teeth can be filled with a variety of dental filling materials. Each of these filling materials has different applications, strengths, and drawbacks. You will have to work with your dentist and explore these materials to find out more about them and how they will work for you.

There are many types of fillings, but not every type of filling is ideal for everyone. The best filling for your teeth depends on several factors. Before deciding anything, it is necessary to consider the location of your cavity and the extent of decay to be filled. Next comes the financial aspect, including an assessment of what your insurance will cover. You should also ask your dentist about the healthiest tooth filling for your needs over time.

Types of Fillings

Here are some of the most common types of tooth fillings.


Gold fillings are very strong, and can last up to 15 years if you care for them properly. They are also a healthy tooth-filling option as they are non-corrosive. However, gold fillings are expensive and may need more than one dental visit to be fitted correctly.

Gold is a popular material for dental fillings as it can withstand the constant pressure of biting and chewing over time much better than other dental filling materials. However, gold is not the preferred choice of people who are more focused on aesthetics, as the filling stands out due to its color.

Silver Amalgam

Made of silver combined with tin, zinc, copper, and mercury, silver amalgam is the most common material for dental filling. It is very popular for many reasons, mainly because it is healthy, strong, sturdy, long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive. It is best suited for less noticeable teeth that withstand more pressure.

The only problem is that it is not aesthetically pleasing as it does not blend in with natural teeth and is silver in appearance. Also, it may expand and contract and cause a tooth to crack, as compared to other types of fillings.


Composite fillings are an attractive option as they can be matched to the color of your teeth and blend in with the other teeth in your mouth easily. They are ideal for filling the front teeth or any other tooth highly visible to others and give you a pleasant smile.

Composite fillings may not be able to withstand as much constant pressure or work as effectively for large cavities as silver or gold fillings but that does not make them any less reliable. They can last for many years without needing to be repaired or replaced. Even though these fillings are more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, their popularity continues to grow due to their aesthetic benefits.


Made of porcelain, ceramic filings are a great option that offers an aesthetically pleasing solution for people who want to enjoy a bright and shiny smile. Porcelain is a stain-resistant and long-lasting material, and it can be colored-matched to your existing teeth.

Ceramic fillings can often last 15 years or more, but they are much more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, and more expensive than composite fillings as well. If they are within your budget, ceramic is an excellent material for dental filling as it gives a more natural look to your teeth.

Glass ionomers

Made of a combination of glass and acrylic material, these fillings are weaker than composite resin and more susceptible to wear and prone to damage. Due to this, they are used for fillings below the gum line. They are not recommended for tooth-filling surfaces that are used for chewing or biting such as molars and incisors.

Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride over time, which helps in strengthening the tooth structure around the filling and prevents tooth decay. They are a good option for children if their teeth are changing as they do not last for a very long time.

Your dentist can help you decide the best material for dental filling. They can explain the benefits of each material so you can pick the healthiest one and the best type of filling for your specific needs.

Remember, visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining good oral hygiene can help your fillings last longer and prevent recurrent decay.

What Happens When You Get a Filling?

Getting a filling in a tooth is a simple procedure, and it takes just a few minutes for the dentist to prepare your teeth and do it right. The dentist will begin by administering a local anesthetic to numb the area. He will use a drill to cut through the enamel and remove the decayed part of the tooth.

Once the cavity is cleaned, the dentist may shape the space to prepare it for the filling. If needed, they may also put in a base or a liner to protect the tooth’s pulp, the place that contains the nerves. After the tooth is prepared, they will fill it with a dental filling material to help protect the tooth from further damage. There are several filling materials to choose from, and with your dentist’s guidance, you can get the best one.

If the dentist is placing a bonded filling, they will first etch the tooth with an acid gel. Etching is making tiny holes in the tooth’s enamel that the composite material fills as the filling is done. A bonding material is also used so that the filling bonds to the tooth in two ways. Bonded fillings can reduce the risk of leakage or decay under the filling.

With so many options to choose from, it often becomes hard to make the right choice. Call Broadway Family Dental today and schedule an appointment with our board-certified dentist if you suspect a need for a filling or want to have a filling replaced to prevent tooth decay and its complications. Dr. Ella Dekhtyar understands the dental needs of her patients and uses advanced cosmetic dentistry techniques to preserve the health and functionality of your teeth. She recommends the best dental fillings, keeping in mind your preferences, budget as well as health concerns, and the type of cavities you have, to prevent decay and ensure you enjoy strong and healthy teeth for years.

Page Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

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(718) 455-4400

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