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A cavity forms when acids produced by plaque bacteria create a hole in the tooth. It is important to treat this decay as soon as possible to prevent it from growing and causing additional dental health problems. After the decay is drilled from the tooth, a filling will be placed. But what kind of filling should be used? Here are the pros and cons of the three main types of fillings.

Amalgam

About

  • Also called silver-colored fillings
  • The most common type of filling used
  • Made from tin, silver, copper, and mercury

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to place (hardens quickly)
  • Best type to fill large cavities or ones in the back of the mouth

Cons

  • Very visible

Gold

About

  • Also called inlays or onlays
  • Made from gold and copper

Pros

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Most expensive
  • Very visible
  • Can take longer to create

Composite Resin

About

  • Also called tooth-colored fillings or white fillings
  • Made of glass and quartz

Pros

  • Most natural looking

Cons

  • More expensive that amalgam
  • Least durable
  • Can take longer to place in the mouth
  • Can only be used on small to medium sized cavities

Your dentist will recommend the best kind of filling for your teeth. Remember that in order to protect your teeth, brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist for 6 month check-ups.