Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to replace the portion of decayed tooth that the dentist must remove in order to keep the rest of the tooth healthy and cavity-free. Fillings can also be used to repair chips in the tooth or build up any worn-down parts of a tooth, such as from jaw clenching or teeth grinding.

Fillings come in a range of materials and appearances.  Among the most common are porcelain, composite resin, silver amalgam or cast gold. Each filling type has advantages and disadvantages.

  • Porcelain: Costly choice that is highly resistant to staining.
  • Composite resin: Closely matches the color and texture of natural teeth but aren’t as durable as some of the other options.
  • Silver amalgam: Highly affordable and durable, however, the silver color is quite noticeable and can create a grayish hue in the rest of the tooth.
  • Gold: Durable and strong, however cast gold can be expensive and isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a non-metal filling.

Because of the range of costs for the different fillings, patients should always discuss options, both aesthetically and for their budget. Patients should never assume that their dental insurance plan will cover any type of filling. Generally, insurance will cover the costs of the least expensive type and the patient is responsible for any balance.

Once a patient has a filling in place, it’s common for the tooth to develop sensitivities for a few weeks after the procedure. Sensitivities generally include sweet foods, hot or cold foods and chewing pressure. However, the sensitivity should reduce gradually over time.

Over years of use, the dental filling can crack, wear down or even chip, and the dentist may have to take out the original filling and replace it. It’s never a good idea to leave a broken filling in place, because bacteria can work its way between the tooth and the filling and cause decay. The dentist can advise clients on which fillings may need replaced after an inspection and evaluation.


If you would like to learn more about fillings or any other dental service, please contact Bridge Creek Dental at (406) 652-1600 for a consultation. We look forward to serving you!



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