The Truths About Modern Tooth Fillings

girl at the dentist with cavityCavities, which are holes formed by tooth decay, are among the most common dental issues for both children and adults. Tooth fillings, which are designed to fill in cavities and restore infected teeth, are among the most popular restorative dental techniques, and have been throughout much of dental history. Today, modern tooth fillings can be crafted from different materials, depending on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you need the strongest restoration available, or the most cosmetically appealing one, we can help you find the right tooth filling to fulfill your dental needs.   

Why Are Metal Fillings So Popular?

Often called silver fillings because of their appearance, metal amalgam fillings actually do contain silver, as well as tin, copper, and a minimal amount of mercury. The mixture is applied as a liquid after the cavity has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and once it’s set, the amalgam filling can durably withstand even the most intense pressures from biting and chewing.

The Innovation of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Though they’re not blazingly obvious, metal fillings can begin to show through your natural tooth structure as the years pass by. For more visible teeth, this may pose an aesthetic problem, since professional teeth-whitening won’t be able to improve their appearance. Instead, you might prefer a tooth-colored filling made from an acrylic-composite resin. Unlike metal fillings, composite resin can be tinted to more effectively blend in with your tooth, creating a more visually-appealing solution.

If a Tooth Fillings Won’t Work

The kind of filling you choose depends largely on your own preference, as well as where the tooth is located in relation to your other teeth. However, if your cavity is advanced enough to infect the tooth’s interior—a chamber called the pulp that houses the nerves and blood vessels—then a tooth filling might not be enough to treat it. In severe cases of tooth decay, we often recommend root canal therapy to clean out the infected tissues and prevent the spread of infection. After the pulp is cleaned and the root chamber (or canal) is sanitized and sealed, a tooth filling and dental crown can complete the restoration.


At Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Houston, TX, Dr. Amy Vlachakis (pronounced Vla-ha-kiss) and her dedicated staff strive to make everyone feel like family, while providing top-notch general, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to patients of all ages. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our office today at (281) 974-4494. Located in Memorial City Plaza, we proudly serve patients in Houston, Memorial City, Bunker Hill, West Beltway, City Center, Hedwig Village, and all surrounding communities.

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