A dental filling is an oral health procedure that restores the anatomy, function, and integrity of a tooth that has been damaged by dental caries or trauma. When there is a tooth cavity, the dentist removes the portion of the tooth that is infected and fills it in with various materials. Dental patients have different options as to the type of fillings that will be put into the cavity. These are usually silver or tooth-colored.

Cavity Dental Filling

(Pixabay / mistcaller)

There are two main types of dental fillings: direct and indirect. Direct restorations involve the placing of dental filling materials directly into the damaged tooth. The dental filling materials that may be used for this purpose include amalgam, resin, resin ionomer, and glass ionomer. Indirect restorations involve dental fillings that are fabricated outside the mouth, such as in a dental laboratory, and cemented into the damaged tooth. These include ceramic, gold alloy, and base metal alloy.

Dental fillings are essential in maintaining the integrity of a tooth that has been damaged by cavities or trauma. A tooth filling is necessary because of the following:

  • Prevents further damage to the tooth caused by trauma or dental cavities.
  • Protects the remaining structure of the tooth from further damage.
  • Prevents damage to the nerve of the tooth.
  • Restores the normal function of the tooth.
  • Helps prevent tooth loss.
  • Lowers the bacterial count in the mouth.
  • Makes teeth cleaning easier.
  • Helps in the maintenance of fresh breath.

Dentists recommend tooth fillings for the following reasons:

  • They offer a quick procedure to restore tooth function. When fillings are done in only one tooth, the procedure can be completed in an hour.
  • The cost of tooth filling is usually covered by dental insurance.
  • Tooth-colored fillings can last up to seven years, while silver fillings may last for 12 years.

There are no serious effects associated with a tooth filling, but there may be some sensitivity and pain after the procedure. Also, over time the composite used to fill the tooth may atrophy, and you may have to have your filling replaced. Some people argue that silver fillings pose health risks, but there has been no conclusive evidence to support this claim.


Smile is the best makeup that a person can wear. A Layton dentist would always suggest that you must keep your tooth from bacteria. However, there are teeth that simply break easily. To solve that problem, dental materials are used to fill in the empty space in your tooth. This infographic provides reasons why dental fillings are beneficial.

Benefits of Dental Fillings [infographic]