Dental Fillings


What are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are used to replace a part of the tooth that has either rotted away because of tooth decay or been damaged from some kind of trauma. The goal of a dental filling is to use a hard material that mimics the texture and shape of the tooth to restore integrity and avoid further decay. In the past, fillings were made with metal but the industry has been moving away from unsightly metal fillings, instead opting for more aesthetically pleasing porcelain or composite fillings.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay And Cavities

It is vitally important to go to the dentist twice a year to have the plaque and bacteria removed from your teeth. This, along with a regular habit of brushing and flossing will prevent the vast majority of tooth decay. However, there are still some cases where cavities begin to form in hard to reach areas of the mouth and if left untreated could develop into an infection or gum disease. Some of the symptoms you may be experiencing if you have a cavity are chronic toothaches, sharp pain in a specific area while eating, sensitivity to hot or cold, and extremely bad breath. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, give our team at Ponderosa Smiles a call so we can sit down and have a discussion about your possible options.

Dental Filling Materials

Up until the last couple of decades, fillings were made exclusively out of metals such as gold or silver. The reason metal was used is that it was extremely durable and filled in the cavity completely while protecting the tooth from further decay. The only issue with metal fillings is their obvious appearance in the mouth because the colors in no way match the rest of the teeth. Luckily, there are some other options for materials which we will discuss below.

Composite Resin

This material has come a long way since it was initially being introduced to patients as an alternative to metal. It is made out of a special epoxy that is then stabilized with substances like silicone and ceramic to lend its strength. The amazing thing about composite resin is that there is a wide variety of colors available, so one can be chosen that matches your tooth color almost exactly. This material is not as durable as metal and usually needs to be replaced every 10 years.


Porcelain is a less common and more costly option for dental fillings, and it is usually used for more cosmetic procedures. The big benefit of using porcelain fillings is that they last much longer than a composite resin filling. If the damage done to the teeth is a result of long term abrasion or trauma, then porcelain will likely be the best option to rebuild the parts of the tooth that have been lost.

At Ponderosa Smiles, our team takes dental fillings and cavity treatments very seriously. If you are experiencing toothaches, sharp pain, or sensitivity schedule an appointment as soon as you are able. Our team is ready to help guide you towards the best treatment option!