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Dental Fillings

How to know if you need Dental Fillings

Fillings are most commonly used to repair teeth holding cavities. Dental fillings can also be used as a means to fix cracked or broken teeth. To fill your cavity, we will clean out and remove the portion of your tooth that is decayed. Then we will carefully fill the space by sealing it with the filling. This will prevent the tooth from decaying further and help keep your teeth healthy!

Illustration by Ames Family Dental demonstrating the process of applying a dental filling

Many factors determine which type of dental filling you need. These factors include the extent and location of tooth decay, cost of filling material, dental insurance coverage, and what dental filling procedure your dentist recommends. Tooth cavities and cracked teeth can be filled with amalgam, composite, and more.

Tooth-Colored Composite Dental Fillings

Patients typically prefer composite fillings because the dentist can closely match the dental filling material to the color of your teeth. In fact, many patients opt to have their old amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite fillings. Composite fillings also chemically bond with the existing tooth structure, which gives the affected tooth even more support. It is also a very versatile material and can fix chips in the teeth or modify small gaps between teeth.

Amalgam Tooth Fillings (Silver Fillings)

Dentists have used this type of filling for many years, especially on back teeth. This type of filling is very durable. The dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to place an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings. 

Many patients, however, do not want readily visible fillings. Additionally, sometimes amalgam tooth fillings can discolor the surrounding tooth or cause cracks or fractures. Patients might also notice a greater degree of tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures with amalgam fillings.

Consult your dentist! The dental filling that is best for you is the one your dentist thinks best suits you, your dental history, and matches your overall oral health and aesthetic goals. Make sure you keep up with your twice-yearly dental checkups and exams so your dentist can monitor for any signs of tooth decay. If you can catch an area of decay when it’s small, it will be much easier to treat and fill that tooth!

Looking to restore a broken or cracked tooth? Dental fillings can help!

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