What Are Composite Tooth Fillings? (and Are They Right for You?)

· 4 min read

A woman sitting in dental chair after gettting composite fillings

Tooth decay.

It happens even to the greatest brushers and flossers.

If you have a cavity or have been told you need a filling, don’t panic. Dental fillings aren’t what they used to be.

You may have gotten metal fillings in the past or seen them when someone laughs.

A dark, mismatched color that screams, “Look at me, I’ve had a filling!” Not exactly something you want to broadcast.


Fortunately, many dentists now offer tooth-colored composite fillings that match your natural tooth color and are super discreet. These metal-free fillings are safe, effective, and work well on mild to moderate cavities.

In this blog, we’ll go over the basics, such as the different types of tooth fillings, and answer the common questions:

  • What is used in tooth fillings?
  • Who are composite fillings for?

What is used in tooth fillings?

There are different types of tooth fillings, including:

Silver amalgam fillings

These are made of a mixture of metals and are strong and durable, but very visible. It’s not ideal for visible teeth. Silver amalgam fillings can be used for large cavities in the back of the mouth.

Composite tooth fillings

These are also known as resin tooth fillings and are typically made of acrylic resin and powdered glass or other ceramic particles. Composite tooth fillings are color-matched to look more natural and can be used for small to medium-sized cavities in both the front and back of the mouth.

Ceramic fillings

Ceramic fillings are used for larger cavities that also require a structural tooth restoration. These are called inlays or onlays, depending on the size and coverage.

Inlays cover the tooth between the cusp, while onlays cover the damaged surface, including cusps as needed.

Gold fillings

These are made of gold and other metals. They’re used as an inlay or onlay, depending on the cavity’s size. Gold fillings are used for larger cavities that need structural support (similar to ceramic fillings without the natural look).

Glass ionomer fillings

These are made of a glass powder and acrylic combination that bond with teeth and release fluoride for extra protection. Glass ionomer fillings aren’t as strong as other options and are typically used on children with teeth that are still changing and growing.

Are composite tooth fillings right for you?

While only a dentist can tell you which dental filling is best for you, composite tooth fillings are a great option for a natural-looking smile. After all, the resin is matched to your natural tooth color.

Nobody has to know about your cavity except for you (and your dentist).

Dentists make sure the process is safe, quick, painless, and effective.


In addition to protecting a tooth from further damage, composite fillings look great!

Looking for metal-free fillings in Mukilteo, WA?

Dr. Kris Johnson and our team at Harbour Pointe Family Dentistry go above and beyond to make your visit comfortable from start to finish.

Think we’re kidding?

Discover expert dental care plus a spa-like atmosphere with individual TVs, headphones, warm towels, lip balm, blankets, and neck pillows.

We’re here for your general and cosmetic dentistry needs, including metal-free fillings, teeth whitening, crowns, and more.

Remember to brush and floss thoroughly, maintain regular cleanings and checkups at the dentist, and watch out for signs of cavities (P.S. Headaches could be a sign).

Contact us today:

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