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What are Fillings? Types & benefits of fillings

dental filling

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If you have ever been to the dentist, chances are you have had a filling. A filling is a way to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or an injury back to its original function and shape. But what exactly are fillings and what are the different types? In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about fillings including the different types and benefits.

Types of Fillings

There are four main types of fillings: amalgam, composite, gold, and ceramic.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals including silver, tin, zinc, and mercury. They are strong and long lasting, making them a good choice for larger cavities or areas of your mouth that experience more wear and tear.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass materials. They provide a natural look as they can be matched to the color of your teeth. Additionally, composite fillings bond with the tooth structure, strengthening it.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are extremely durable and can last up to 15 years with proper care. While they may be an expensive option upfront, they will save you money in the long run due to their longevity. Gold fillings also do not corrode or tarnish over time.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and can be matched to the color of your teeth. They are strong and resistant to staining, making them a great choice for people who want a natural look.

Benefits of Fillings

Fillings can provide many benefits including restoring your tooth back to normal function, preventing further damage to the tooth, as well as protecting it from bacteria that could cause decay or infection. Additionally, they can help improve your appearance by repairing any chips or cracks in the tooth’s surface. Finally, fillings may provide relief from pain caused by cavities or injury to the tooth.


Fillings are a common dental procedure used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or injury back to their normal function and shape. There are four main types of fillings including amalgam, composite, gold, and ceramic. Each type has its own benefits and may be more suitable for certain cases than others. Additionally, fillings can provide many benefits such as restoring your tooth’s normal function and protecting it from further damage or infection.

1. How long do fillings last?

The average lifespan of a filling is 5-7 years; however, this can vary depending on the type of filling you choose. Amalgam fillings tend to last up to 15 years, while composite fillings usually last up to 7 years.

2. Is it painful to get a filling?

No, getting a filling is typically not painful as your dentist will administer an anesthetic prior to the procedure. However, you may experience some sensations such as pressure or vibration during the procedure.

3. Are fillings expensive?

The cost of a filling can vary depending on the type used and where you live; however, in general, they are relatively inexpensive procedures compared to other dental treatments. Additionally, certain types such as gold fillings may save you money in the long run due to their longevity.

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