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Exploring Common Types of Dental Fillings and Their Benefits

Dental fillings are a foundational dental treatment used in restorative dentistry to help repair teeth that have been damaged. Whether it’s through cavities, decay, fracture, or trauma dental fillings offer an easy and affordable solution to restoring smiles. Newport Beach dentists use a variety of dental fillings and utilize a specific dental filling based on individual smiles as well size and location of the cavity. Come along as we overview various dental fillings and their benefits.

Comparing Common Types of Dental Fillings:

1. Amalgam Fillings:

Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been widely used in dentistry for over a century. Composed of a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper, amalgam fillings offer durability, strength, and longevity. Amalgam fillings are highly resistant to wear and tear making them superior fillings for teeth that undergo extensive chewing and heavy pressure like molars.

2. Composite Resin Fillings:

Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored restorations made of a blend of plastic and glass particles. They are bonded directly to the tooth structure, providing excellent aesthetic results and seamless blending with the natural tooth color. At Spath Dentistry we go the extra mile to color-match composite resin fillings to match the shade of your teeth for a near-invisible look. Composite fillings are versatile and can be used for both front and back teeth, offering a conservative approach to restoring dental cavities.

3. Ceramic Fillings (Inlays and Onlays):

Ceramic fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are custom-made restorations fabricated from high-strength dental ceramics. Ceramic fillings are created in a dental laboratory to precisely fit the cavity and are bonded to the tooth surface. Ceramic fillings offer exceptional aesthetics, durability, and biocompatibility, making them ideal for restoring teeth in visible areas of the mouth.

4. Glass Ionomer Fillings:

Glass ionomer fillings are a blend of glass and acrylic that release fluoride, offering a level of protection against further decay as fluoride strengthens the enamel. They are commonly used for small cavities in low-stress areas of the mouth, such as root surfaces or baby teeth. Glass ionomer fillings provide a cost-effective and convenient option..

Identifying the Most Common Dental Filling:

Among the various types of dental fillings, amalgam fillings are the most common option used by dentists worldwide. Several factors contribute to the widespread use of amalgam fillings:

  • Durability and Longevity: Amalgam fillings are known for their exceptional durability and longevity, with a typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years or more. They can withstand the rigors of chewing and biting forces, making them suitable for use in posterior teeth.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Amalgam fillings are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of dental fillings, making them a cost-effective option for both patients and dental practices.
  • Ease of Placement: Amalgam fillings are easy to place on susceptible teeth and require minimal tooth preparation, allowing for efficient and straightforward treatment procedures.
  • Versatility: Amalgam fillings are suitable for a wide range of dental cavities, from small to large, and can be used in various areas of the mouth.

It’s important to note that despite their popularity, amalgam fillings have raised concerns regarding mercury content and aesthetic appearance. As a result, many patients as well as dentists in Newport Beach are increasingly opting for alternative filling materials. This has led to an increase in other dental filling options like composite resin or ceramic dental fillings, to meet their aesthetic and health-related preferences.


While amalgam fillings remain the most common option in restorative dentistry due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility, patients have a range of choices when it comes to dental fillings. By consulting with your dentist at Spath Dentistry and considering factors such as durability, aesthetics, and health considerations, individuals can select the most suitable filling material to meet their unique needs and preferences. Ultimately, the goal of dental fillings is to restore oral health and function, allowing patients to enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for years to come. If you’re considering dental fillings in Orange County, have questions about your current dental fillings in Newport Beach, or are looking for a new dental home schedule your dental appointment at Spath Dentistry today!

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