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Decoding Dental Fillings: Types and Their Applications

At Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry Indy, IN, Dr. Swati Singh understands that dental fillings are crucial in pediatric dental care. Dental fillings are used to restore the function and integrity of teeth affected by decay or trauma. Understanding the different types of fillings and their specific uses can help parents make informed decisions about their child’s dental care.

The Need for Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are primarily needed to repair cavities caused by tooth decay. When a tooth is decayed, the damaged part must be removed to prevent further deterioration. A filling is then placed to restore the tooth’s shape, strength, and function. Fillings also help prevent further decay by sealing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria might enter.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are various types of fillings, each with unique properties and advantages:

  1. Amalgam Fillings: Often known as ‘silver fillings,’ amalgam has been used for decades due to its durability and strength. It’s made from a combination of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Amalgam is less common now but is still valued for its longevity and is usually more affordable.
  2. Composite Resin Fillings: These tooth-colored fillings are popular due to their aesthetic appeal. Made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles, composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of the natural teeth, making them an excellent choice for visible areas. They bond directly to the tooth, offering good support.
  3. Glass Ionomer Fillings: This type of filling is made from acrylic and a specific type of glass material. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. However, they’re less durable than composite resin and are typically used in areas not subjected to heavy chewing pressure.
  4. Ceramic Fillings: Typically made of porcelain, these fillings are both durable and aesthetically pleasing. They are resistant to staining and abrasion but can be more brittle and expensive compared to other types.
  5. Gold Fillings: Gold fillings are known for their durability and can last for over a decade. However, they are more costly and require more than one dental visit to place.

Considerations in Choosing a Filling

The choice of filling material depends on several factors:

  1. Location of the Cavity: For cavities in front teeth, where appearance is a concern, tooth-colored fillings like composite resins are preferred.
  2. Extent of Decay: Larger cavities may require more durable materials like amalgam or gold.
  3. Allergies: Some children may be allergic to certain materials used in fillings, such as metals.
  4. Cost and Insurance Coverage: The choice might also depend on the cost and what is covered by dental insurance.

The Role of Regular Dental Visits

Regular check-ups at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry are vital. Dr. Singh and her team can detect early signs of decay and recommend the best treatment, including the type of filling most suitable for your child’s needs.

Post-Filling Care

After a filling, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing, and Dental Cleaning & Consultation visits are crucial. Parents should also monitor their child’s response to the filling, watching for any signs of discomfort or sensitivity.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Appointment Today

Understanding the different types of dental fillings helps parents make educated decisions regarding their child’s oral health. Dr. Swati Singh and the team at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry are committed to providing comprehensive care and guidance for your child’s dental needs.

Is it time for your child’s dental check-up, or do you have concerns about cavities? Contact Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis, IN, for expert advice and treatment. Dr. Swati Singh offers a range of filling options and other pediatric dental services to keep your child’s smile bright and healthy. Call us at 317-580-9199 to schedule an appointment.


  1. American Dental Association: Dental Fillings
  2. Journal of Pediatric Dentistry: Comparison of Dental Filling Materials