Getting a tooth filling may not be the most pleasant procedure. Dentists put a patient’s mouth under local anesthesia, so they can do their job without causing pain to the patient. Even with a numb mouth, the process can be unavoidably uncomfortable. Whether he or she is drilling or using a laser, patients have to remain still until they are done cutting out all the decay from the tooth. One thing you may want to participate in is the selection of the type of filling material for the tooth. There are several types of filling materials to choose from, including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, tooth colored, plastic, and glass (composite resin filling). And each of them has its reasons why you might use them.

Gold Fillings

Gold is very durable, lasting approximately 10 to 15 years. It’s able to hold together under aggressive chewing pressures, and will not corrode. Many patients don’t like the dark spots in the teeth that silver fillings cause in the mouth. Therefore, they choose to go with the gold fillings. The disadvantages to gold fillings are the expense, about 10 times more costly than silver fillings.

Silver Fillings

Silver is just as durable as gold filling, as they also should last up to 15 years. They are not susceptible to wearing down easily, but the same cannot be said about the teeth. Silver fillings have a way of facilitating damages to the teeth. Along with the grayish hue that forms all around that area of the mouth, there is a higher degree of cracks and fractures in teeth with silver fillings. Poor aesthetics may be the price of the least expensive filling material.

Tooth-colored composites

Tooth-colored composites are ideal for anyone who needs a lot of fillings. The ability to build the composite to match your existing tooth color makes them the most aesthetically pleasing option. These composites are also able to bond to the tooth structure, which provides much stronger support. The downside to composites is their lack of durability. They only last approximately 5 years, instead of the 15 of silver or gold. Plus, they are twice as expensive.


Ceramic fillings are usually made of porcelain, which does not have the same aesthetic drawbacks as silver. They are more stain resistant, yet they can still be abrasive in the mouth. The cost of their attractive look can cost just as much as gold.