3 Types of Fillings for Cavities

Whether you had fillings as a kid or knew of someone that did, everyone understands the basic idea of having your teeth filled: You had a cavity which was then removed by the dentist, and something needed to take the drilled out space’s spot in order to keep your tooth strong and sturdy.

Well, we’re here to give you a little lesson in Fillings 101 so that you’re more knowledgeable on your filling’s options when you go to the dentist the next time you see a black spot on your teeth.

Silver amalgam

Consisting of mercury mixed with tin, silver, zinc, and even copper, this metal filling is probably the kind you know well when you think of fillings for cavities. It’s been used for around 150 years in dentistry, which goes to show that it’s a tried and true method of filling cavities. This type may not be as durable as gold, but it holds up better and longer than composite fillings over long periods of time.

Composite resin

This type of filling is one of the most common because of its tooth-colored look. Most people prefer their teeth to look like natural teeth, so this filling fits the bill on being quite discreet even when the filling is in a noticeable spot. Composite resin filling can be made up of multiple materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds. The resin is pliable enough for your dentist to fill into the removed cavity, and it’s sturdy enough once it dries that it won’t be coming out or breaking anytime soon.


Though gold fillings cost more than composite and amalgam (and draw a lot more attention than both of them), the main advantage of a gold filling is how durable it is. They can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. Unlike amalgam fillings, gold fillings also don’t corrode. This makes gold fillings a long-term and reliable solution for any cavities you may have.

Another factor to consider is that gold fillings stay in place much longer than resin and composite. Resin and composite fillings are bonded to the tooth with cement that tends to wash out over time, which means you’re more likely to need a replacement if you choose resin or composite filling material.

No matter which filling option you go for, it’s important that you do get your cavities taken care of and filled. You don’t want your tooth rotting or breaking off in the middle of a meal, as that can impact your other teeth, gums, and tongue down the road.