5 Types Of Dental Fillings

Your local dentist in Purley explains the uses of different types of filling material.

Having a tooth filled is one of the most common dental procedures, and one that many of our Purley patients will have experienced. Whilst these are usually a routine procedure, there are a number of different types of filling available.

In today’s blog, we take a look at the types and uses for some of the more common dental fillings that are available at the Confidental Clinic.


This is the most common type of dental filling, and is the one that our Purley NHS dental patients will be most familiar with. It can be used both for small and quite large fillings and is the strongest filling material available. The downside of amalgam fillings is the fact that, due to being made from metal compounds, they are a dark colour and therefore highly visible.

Tooth coloured fillings

Tooth coloured fillings are available privately at the Confidental Clinic.  Whilst once considered inferior in strength to amalgam, improvements have made them suitable for all but the largest fillings on the rear teeth. As the name indicates, these can be produced to match the colour of the natural tooth, rendering them next to invisible once the tooth has been filled.

Inlays and onlays

Whilst not strictly a filling, these can be used for larger cavities, especially on the rear teeth where a cosmetic solution is required that is also strong. These are made from impressions that are taken of the cavity and the inlay or onlay will then be produced at a dental laboratory and fitted to the prepared tooth on its return.

Gutta Percha

Gutta percha is a type of dental filling that is used in root canal treatment. It is a natural substance from certain types of trees. It is heated and compressed into the root canals following the removal of infected material and thorough cleaning to remove any remaining bacteria. Once the gutta percha has been placed, it is sealed with an adhesive and the tooth is then usually fitted with a dental crown to complete the restoration.

Glass Ionomer

Glass Ionomer fillings are not commonly used as it is one of the weaker filling materials. It does have its uses though as it bonds extremely well with the tooth in situations that other fillings wouldn’t. Certain types also offer the benefit of releasing fluoride into the tooth, reducing the risk of decay. Because of its lack of strength though, it is generally only used on baby teeth and non biting areas.

We are always happy to discuss the merits of the different types of fillings that we offer at the Confidental Clinic in Purley. Please do feel free to ask us when you are due to have a filling or call us on 020 8660 8923 for more advice.