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  • Fillings

  • The Basics of Tooth Fillings

    The placement of fillings is a process intended to help restore teeth that have been compromised by decay or fracture.  Tooth decay or tooth fracture must be addressed as early as possible so that restoring what remains of the tooth with a filling is easier and less expensive.   Deferring action on a troubled tooth can result in the need to consider more extensive treatments to restore it back to complete function.  These more extensive treatments can be time consuming and much more expensive.

  • Amalgam Fillings are made from a mixture of metals including mercury and silver and, thus, do not match the color of your teeth.  This type of filling is used most often in the back teeth and are very strong, usually lasting at least ten (10) years if not longer.

    Advantages: Used for many years with great success, take less time to place, harder for chewing, less expensive, acceptable standard of care
    Disadvantages:  Can fracture over time, more tooth structure removed, darkness of the filling can show through enamel, contain a mix of metal (mercury, silver, copper, zinc) 
    Dr. Szeszycki’s Philosophy:  She believes in the value of amalgam fillings in certain situations where function and durability are more important than esthetics.  These fillings are cost effective, reliable and proven to be safe in most situations and for most patients.


  • Composite Fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles in order to match the color of the tooth. Thus, composite fillings are used most often on front teeth or the visible parts of the tooth. Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, reducing the drilling needed (as compared to an amalgam filling) and generally last two (2) to five (5) years under most conditions.

    Advantages: Esthetics, bonded to tooth, more conservative (less tooth structure removed), acceptable standard of care
    Disadvantages: Take more time to place, less durable than amalgam, more expensive, should not be used for extra-large fillings
    Dr. Szeszycki’s Philosophy:  She believes in the value of composite fillings in certain situations where esthetics and patient desire for tooth colored restorations are more important than function.  These fillings are reliable and proven to be effective in most situations and for most patients.

  • Porcelain Fillings are made of a ceramic material and are tooth colored, so they look natural.  Porcelain fillings are more brittle than composite fillings and can break, but they are also more resistant to staining.  Porcelain fillings are expensive, and can cost as much or more than gold fillings.

    Advantages: Tooth-colored and natural looking, tend to more accurately resemble a tooth's natural contours, long lasting, custom made and bonded to the tooth so that potential for further decay is minimized, acceptable standard of care
    Disadvantages:  Strong enough to wear down opposing teeth, more expensive than composite and amalgam fillings, requires removal of more tooth structure, can take two or three appointments, on average, to custom fit and cement into place
    Dr. Szeszycki’s Philosophy:  She believes in the value of ceramic fillings for those patients who want longer lasting, more durable esthetic restorations but who are not prepared to consider full crowns for the support they provide.

  • Gold Fillings are made from gold alloy which is extremely durable.  This type of filling lasts longer than any other type, oftentimes decades.  Gold fillings do not match the natural color of your teeth and are more expensive, but are very tissue compatible.

    Advantages: Extremely strong, gentle on opposing teeth, tarnish and corrosion resistant, generally resistant to new decay formation, acceptable standard of care
    Disadvantages: Poor esthetics, more expensive than composite and amalgam fillings, require more than one (1) visit to cement to place
    Dr. Szeszycki’s Philosophy:  She believes in the value of gold fillings where esthetics is less of a consideration and where the patient’s desire for a very long lasting restoration is more important.

  • Most of all, remember that there are many options available to you as a patient today. We will work with you to provide the right restoration for you and your particular needs!