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Restorative Fillings

Today, many individuals think that using restorative fillings for dental restoration is an outdated method. While many new techniques and materials are available, restorative fillings are still extremely useful because they are durable and strong. These two qualities are especially important when it comes to restoring back teeth, which deal with the most force when chewing.

Common Materials Use for Dental Restoration

Today, a variety of different materials are used for dental restoration. Some of the most popular materials include the following:

Dental Restoration Pictures
  • Resin ionomers - This material is a combination of both glass ionomers and composites
  • Ceramics – Made of porcelain
  • Composite – Often known as cosmetic or white fillings
  • Glass ionomers – Release fluoride
  • Metals
  • Indirect composites
  • Amalgams – Often known as silver fillings

Choosing the Right Restorative Fillings

Since you have several different choices when it comes to dental restoration, you may be wondering how to choose the right restorative fillings for your needs. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration when making your final decision.

  • The filling material’s composition
  • The number of visits and their duration needed to complete the job
  • The patient’s general health and oral health
  • The mechanism and place of the filling
  • The chewing load that will be on the tooth that requires the filling

Indirect and Direct Restorations

Depending on your unique case, you may require an indirect or a direct dental restoration. What is the difference?


Restorative Fillings Pictures

An indirect restoration will require more than a single visit. At the first visit, you’ll have the tooth prepared and an impression will be taken of the restoration area. When you visit the dentist again, the filing will then be placed and any needed adjustments can be made. Fillings used for indirect restorations include indirect composites, gold alloys, ceramics and base metal alloys.

When it comes to a direct dental restoration, you’ll only need to make one visit to the dentist. The filling can be placed into the prepared cavity right away. The tooth is prepared and the filling placed and then any adjusting is done. Filling options for direct restorations include resin composite fillings, glass ionomers, dental amalgam and resin ionomers.

Pros and Cons of Composite Restorative Fillings

A composite filling, often known as a filled resin, includes a mixture of quartz or glass filler inside of a resin medium. It will look like the colour of your teeth. Some of the pros to composite fillings is that they are durable, unlikely to fracture and they can easily deal with moderate chewing pressure. On the negative side, they cannot be placed as quickly as amalgam fillings.

Amalgam Fillings

These fillings are one of the most popular choices for a dental restoration. This alloy includes tin, copper, mercury, silver and some other minor elements. They are great for dealing with large chewing loads and work well for cavities that are found below your gum line. Some of the benefits to these fillings are their low cost, excellent resistance and durability.

Glass Ionomers

A glass ionomers filling is a translucent mix of fine glass powder and acrylic acids. They are often used to fill cavities that occur on the root surface of a tooth. Since they release a bit of fluoride, they can help prevent further tooth decay. They have little resistive power, so they work best on teeth that have a low chewing load.

Ceramic Materials

For ceramic restorative fillings, you’ll need to have at least two visits to the dentist. These types of fillings include glasslike, porcelain or ceramic crowns and fillings. They are wonderfully resistant to wear and tear, but they can easily fracture.

Gold Alloys

Another option for a tooth restoration is a gold alloy. Gold alloys include not only gold, but copper and various other metals. They make a filling that is quite strong. They are also used for fixed bridges, on lays, crowns and even inlays. They are tough, strong, they resist tarnishing and corrosion and they are also gentle on surrounding teeth.

Resin Ionomers

Resin ionomers are made out of glass filler with acrylic resin and acrylic acids. They are usually used for small fillings that don’t bear a high chewing load.