Getting a cavity filled is never fun, but it is essential to ensuring the tooth decay doesn't spread or cause unnecessary pain. In order to replace the removed part of a tooth, a dentist must place a filling (or synthetic material) that assumes the role of your natural teeth. Although synthetic, the filling must be durable and hard enough to withstand normal chewing, and there are a few different options to choose from in terms of aesthetics and longevity. The following guide should help you better understand the options your dentist at a place like Absolute Smiles gives when it comes to cavity fillings.


Gold is a traditional option that has become less popular in recent years (with the advent of newer, less obvious materials), but is nonetheless still a viable option. Some patients prefer gold to its counterpart, amalgam, but it is among the most expensive filling materials and may require multiple trips to the dentist to be placed correctly. Benefits include its long life span and durable exterior.


Amalgam fillings appear silver to the eye, but they are actually made from a combination of silver, tin, zinc, mercury or other metals. But for simplicity's sake, they are commonly known as just silver fillings. While durable, they do last fewer years than gold fillings, but in exchange, their cost is much less. If amalgam is your preferred choice, the dentist must remove more of the natural tooth for filling placement; however, this type is less sensitive to temperature than other materials. An additional benefit is that they can be completed in only one visit to the office.

Composite Resin

As a tooth-colored filling, composite resin is one of the most popular options today because from a distance, it is near impossible to distinguish from a natural tooth. Fillings only require one appointment with the dentist and can be bonded directly to the tooth— resulting in a durable, long-lasting cavity filling. Unlike amalgam, the area needed to place the synthetic material is smaller, and therefore less drilling is required for its application.

The main downside to composite fillings is their sensitivity as some patients report stronger reactions to heat and cold than with other materials. The application method also requires more expertise because there is more room for mistakes in the curing and drilling process.

Even though you might not be looking forward to your next cavity filling, techniques and filling options have vastly simplified the process and shortened your appointment time. Hopefully with the above guide, you can choose the best filling material for your lifestyle.