Dental filling. Materials used in restorative dentistry

Whether it is to treat carious or erosion injuries, accidents resulting in fractures or just aesthetic desires, restorative materials are being used with increasing frequency in dental practices.

A wide range of products are currently available on the market, with multiple indications and adapted to the requirements of the dentist and the patient.

Eugenol and calcium hydroxide-based materials are used for temporary fillings.

In cases where the carious excision is close to the dental pulp, the cavity is filled with a temporary material, which acts as a soothing dressing.

Direct obturation with definitive materials is avoided because the monomer contained in them may further irritate the dental pulp.

It is therefore preferable to wait and monitor progress, after which the filling is continued with definitive materials.

Definitive fillings are intended to seal and protect the dental layers under the enamel and restore the original morphology of the teeth.

The most common filling materials are listed below.

Glass ionomer material

They are commonly used in dental practices as a base under composite resin fillings or permanent fillings for temporary teeth.

In carious patients, who have a caries-prone terrain, it is the material of choice. The main characteristics of glass ionomer materials are:

  • Resists well in a wet environment: in conditions where cavities cannot be well isolated from the action of salivary fluid, for example in caries, we can apply glass-ionomer fillings, which also resist well in a wet environment.

  • Continuous release of fluoride: this characteristic of glass-ionomer materials indicates their use in patients with polycarditis. Fluoride acts to create a protective film on the teeth, resisting bacterial acid attack.

  • Aesthetics: good, but inferior to composite materials.

Composite resins

These are the most commonly used materials in direct restorations in the dental practice.

If ceramic work requires the intervention of the dental laboratory and involves additional clinical steps, composite restorations are easier to do in a single session.

Other advantages of using composite resins are the following:

  • Minimal loss of tooth substance

  • the composite is bonded to the tooth surfaces by means of an adhesive system, so there is no need to prepare the cavities in a particular way to give the filling retention.

  • Fast curing – the polymerization of the composite resins is carried out using a UV lamp. This allows the composite to be manipulated theoretically indefinitely, with light curing leading to curing when the desired shape has been achieved, consistent with the original appearance of the teeth.

  • Increased aesthetics – the variety of shades, brightness and textures gives composite resins considerable aesthetics.

The disadvantages of composite resins include their lack of color stability, as they turn yellowish after 2-3 years of application. Their resistance is also not very high, as composites are susceptible to mechanical and chemical wear, with microcracks or abrasions appearing over time.

Dental amalgam

This is a material made of alloys of metals such as silver, tin and mercury. Despite its very good strength and marginal fit, amalgam has been replaced by more aesthetic materials.

In the case of large cavities, where the shrinkage of composite resins could interfere with the success of therapy, the use of prosthetic pieces represented by inlays and onlays is now preferred. They have the advantage of stability over time and strength, although preparation is more invasive.

The solution chosen by the practitioner will always take into account the patient’s general and oral health and the treatment goals.


Depending on the difficulty of the treatment, prices start from 200 lei/tooth filling.

If anesthesia is required, it is charged separately at a cost of 50 lei.

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