An Overview Of Cavity Filling Materials

If your dentist found a cavity that needs to be filled, you have a few options for the kind of filling material that will be used. While silver was typically the only material offered many years ago, you now have options that your dentist will offer you. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of different types of dental filling materials.

Natural-colored Composites

If you want the cavity to blend in with your teeth, consider a natural-colored composite material that can be used for cavities in the back or front of your mouth. The filling material is made with resin, quartz, glass, or plastic.

Many dental patients love this material for its natural appearance, and how nobody will ever be able to tell they had a cavity filled. The drawback is that these natural looking fillings often lack strength. There is a potential for the material to break down over time, as they are not as strong as cast gold or amalgam.


If you are looking to save money, silver is one of the cheapest options available to you for fillings. It is also incredibly durable, and can withstand the normal stress of chewing. The material is made out of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, and copper.

Despite these great benefits, you may not be a fan of silver due to the appearance. It can make a tooth look very unnatural, and can even be noticeable to others due to how much it contrasts with the natural color of your teeth. Others have concerns with the mercury that is contained within the filling. The FDA has concluded that mercury is safe to use in dental fillings once it is applied, and it advises you not to remove older silver fillings due to the mercury vapor that can be released during the process.

Cast Gold

Gold is another very strong material, even stronger than silver. The material will not corrode or tarnish either, so it will last a long time.

Similar to silver, you may not like gold due to the appearance. Some people get a dental crown placed over their gold fillings so that the tooth does have a natural appearance. This all comes at a cost though, as gold is one of the more expensive materials you can use to fill a cavity.


Porcelain is great because it looks natural and is durable. Compared to a natural-colored composite, porcelain will last longer, making it a better choice for those that care about their tooth's appearance.

The material can be just as expensive as gold, and will require removing a larger portion of the tooth to apply the filling.

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of these 4 types of dental fillings, you can pick the material that will work best for you. To find out more, speak with someone like Medin Family Dental.