Understanding What Dental Fillings Are and Their Use

Dental fillings are a common and important part of preventive and restorative dentistry. They are used to restore teeth damaged by decay and dental trauma and to prevent further decay. Fillings are also used to enhance the appearance of the teeth and to repair and strengthen them.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?

When it comes to dental fillings, there are several different types available. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand what type of filling is best for your situation. Here is a look at the different types of dental fillings and their unique benefits.

1. Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They have been used in dentistry for over 150 years and are the most economical option. Amalgam fillings are highly durable and can last up to 15 years with proper care. The main disadvantage of amalgam fillings is that they are noticeable due to their dark color.

2. Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass particles. They are designed to match the color of your natural teeth, making them an excellent choice for front teeth. Composite fillings also bond well with the surrounding teeth, making them a great option for restoring a damaged tooth. However, composite fillings don’t last as long as amalgam fillings and can be prone to staining or discoloration.

3. Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain or composite materials and are designed to match the color of your natural teeth. They are highly durable and can last up to 20 years with proper care. Ceramic fillings are also resistant to staining and discoloration, making them a great choice for front teeth. The main disadvantage of ceramic fillings is that they are more expensive than other types of fillings.

4. Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are made from a combination of pure gold and other metals. They are the most durable type of filling and can last up to 25 years with proper care. Gold fillings are also highly resistant to staining and discoloration. The main disadvantage of gold fillings is that they are the most expensive type of filling and are also noticeable due to their gold color.

What Is the Purpose of a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a type of dental restoration used to repair a cavity or a damaged tooth. It is a common procedure performed by dentists to restore the function and appearance of your teeth. The purpose of a dental filling is to restore the structure of the tooth, prevent further damage, and protect the tooth from infection.

When a cavity is present, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Then, the dentist will fill the space with the appropriate material. The material prevents further decay and protects the remaining healthy tooth structure from further damage.

In addition to preventing further decay, dental fillings also help improve your teeth’ appearance. If you have a cavity, the filling can help to restore the shape, size, and color of the tooth. This can help to improve the look of your smile.

Finally, dental fillings are also used to repair cracks, chips, and other damage. In these cases, the filling material is used to restore the structure of the tooth and prevent further damage.


Dental fillings are a common, effective treatment for cavities. They can be made of a variety of materials, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The type of filling your dentist recommends will depend on the location and severity of your cavity and your personal preferences.

If you need a dentist in Westborough, MA, you can visit Family Dental of Westborough. We offer dental care, maintenance, cleanings, and more. Book an appointment at Family Dental of Westborough for your oral health.

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