Tooth Fillings; Pros & Cons of Different Type of Filling

Dental Fillings – This is one of the most common and widely done dental procedure performed by the dentist for centuries. It is mostly performed on the tooth which is suffering from decay. But can also be performed in various other cases such as fracture or infection.

Since ages, dentists had been saving the tooth by dental filling and prevents the spread of infection which could have caused serious damage to the tooth.

The procedure for dental filling is quite simple and is done in a single sitting. Your dentist after a thorough examination will depend on the decay will either clear off the infection from the tooth or will remove the decay. This will create a hollow space which they will then fill with the filling. Laser light will then be placed on the top of the dental filling as it will help in bonding the filling with the tooth enamel.

With the advancement in dental technology, we now have various kind of dental fillings depending upon your case and the type you are looking for. Every type has its own pros & cons. Depending upon the need you can go ahead with a particular type.

Amalgam Filling

This is the silver filling which had been in use since quite long now. The oldest type of filling is a mixture of silver, mercury, and tin. For a long time, people used to go ahead with this filling type as it was less expensive than the gold filling and people usually had only these two options with them. Due to the presence of mercury in it, (which is considered toxic) this type of dental filling is losing its preference over the other options now available. Even though it is till date inexpensive but is not preferred by the people because it darkens with time giving it not a pleasing look. Not only is it toxic but having silver fillings makes the tooth sensitive to heat and cold.

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Pros – High durability as it is strong and is an affordable option if cost is the major concern

Cons – Mercury being toxic is not a wise choice as it can darken the tooth and does not look aesthetically good.

Gold Filling

This too is an option that has been in use since long. People usually go for such kind of filling because of the strength and the durability it offers. If you are looking for tarnish resistant and corrosion free material, then this is what will suit your need. Not only is it corrosion resistant but it does not allow decay formation. Being made of gold, it is very expensive and also for the first week or so you might feel sensitive towards heat or cold.

Pros – Gold being the bio-compatible material is completely safe and is highly durable.

Cons – The most expensive of all, these fillings are visible from a distance. Only a well-trained dental professional should get this done as it needs to be taken well into consideration that it is not too abrasive to the opposing teeth.

Composite Filling

Introduced much later than the silver filling, a composite filling is the second most used filling. This has with time become the most preferred choice especially due to aesthetic concerns and also due to high durability. In the fillings discussed above the dentist need to remove the healthy natural tooth but for a composite filling to stick not much wear and tear is required. As it does not contain metal, therefore, this does not darken and blends with the natural color. It is most preferred when the cavity is small, and they are prone to stains due to black coffee or tea. These are usually expensive than the amalgam filling

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Pros – They fit in perfectly with your tooth color and are not that expensive an option. If they are damaged, then it is easily repaired and fixed quickly with minimum cost

Cons – They are not as strong as the other two fillings and are more prone to coffee and tea stains


It is a porcelain filling and requires a special way to fix it to the tooth. The fixing process does not work as amalgam and composite. The porcelain material is made up in the lab which is then used to fill in the cavities. These matches perfectly to your natural teeth making it look exactly like your natural teeth. This is long-lasting, durable and best suited for all types of cases. But they are a bit expensive and require removal of larger part of the tooth because it is bulky in nature.

Pros – Looks exactly like your natural teeth and are durable with long-lasting strength.

Cons – It is very important to get it placed properly since if not in the right place, it can cause wear down of opposing teeth. It is also an expensive alternative than amalgam and composite.

If you are looking for tooth filling options, then visit your nearest dental clinic and ask for the option most suitable.