Dentists use fillings to repair teeth that have been damaged, either due to injury or decay. By placing a filling, the tooth again takes on a normal shape and size, allowing the tooth to continue being used.

Dental Fillings

Types of Fillings

There are a number of different kinds of fillings available such as composite (white fillings), amalgam, and porcelain (inlays and onlays).


Amalgam (silver) fillings are made from an amalgamation of different metals and are silver in appearance. Amalgam fillings are resistant to wear; however, due to their colour they are more noticeable than composite fillings and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth. Amalgam fillings are the main type of filling provided through the NHS on back teeth – composite fillings are considered to be cosmetic and therefore often provided privately on back teeth.


Composite (white) fillings are made from natural tooth coloured resins that are more aesthetically pleasing and can be matched to the same colour as natural teeth.

Fissure Sealants

Fissure Sealants are usually clear or coloured unfilled / minimally filled resin materials painted and cured into the grooves and pits of the back teeth, often, soon after they erupt. Sealing the tooth surface protects fissures from bacteria and sugar to prevent decay from starting deep within the fissures. Any tooth with pits and fissures can be treated, provided the surface to be filled is sound and has not been previously filled. The most commonly treated teeth are the first molars usually within a year or two after eruption.

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