Do fillings damage your teeth

Dental fillings made of gold

The precious metal is processed into both small fillings and inlays. For smaller fillings gold is filled into the hole in very fine layers and then knocked into its correct shape with light hammer blows. In the case of inlays, the piece to be inserted is manufactured in the dental laboratory and then attached to the tooth with plastic. For better aesthetics, a gold filling or a gold inlay can be coated with ceramic or plastic.

  • Lasts the longest at an average of 10 to 15 years
  • Very hard, which makes it ideal for the posterior chewing surfaces
  • The patient has to bear the costs - if he does not have additional dental insurance for tooth preservation
  • Particularly suitable for allergy sufferers and patients with concerns about other fillers

Composite tooth fillings

Composite is a artificial mixture of 20% plastic and 80% silica salt or the finest glass particles. It is tooth-colored and therefore very aesthetic. If the filling is applied in several thin layers, the dentist can adjust the brightness, shade and light transmission (translucency) exactly to the tooth. Composite is often used as well for seals the molars used. A thin layer is applied to the inner notches of the molars to protect them from tooth decay. Composite fillings are often simply called plastic fillings.

  • Lasts 4 to 6 years on average
  • Dimensionally stable, suitable for all teeth
  • The health insurance company pays the full costs for the application on the front teeth (for a simple shift)
  • If you use it on molars or in several shifts, you will have to pay part yourself. The health insurance companies provide a subsidy in the amount of the costs for a comparable amalgam filling. If there is a proven allergy to amalgam or if the kidneys are weak, the health insurance company will often cover the full costs.

Glass ionomer cement tooth fillings

The mixture of polyacrylic acid and calcium aluminum silicate glass is widely used in dentistry. Mainly in Milk teeth, as temporary filling in front of an inlay or as a Sealing of the molars. The material is also used to attach dental crowns and bridges. It is not robust enough for permanent fillings.

  • Lasts a maximum of 1 to 2 years
  • Mainly for deciduous teeth or as a temporary solution
  • The health insurance company bears the costs

Compomer tooth fillings

Compomer is one Combination of composite and glass ionomer cement. It lasts longer than pure glass ionomer cement, but not as long as composite or ceramic. Due to its simple application and the tooth-colored appearance, compomer is used for small fillings on tooth necks and in the front area of ​​the dentition. It is only suitable as a sealant in the chewing area, but not for large-area fillings. Compomer can stabilize the tooth before it gets a crown as a tooth neck filling or a build-up filling. As with other plastic fillings, allergic reactions can occur in rare cases.

  • Lasts 4 to 6 years
  • Particularly suitable for small fillings in the visible area
  • The health insurance company bears the costs

Ceramic inlay

Inlays or inlay fillings are the premium class of dental fillings. By the high Degree of hardness ceramics is special suitable for the posterior occlusal surfaces. The dentist removes old fillings or caries comprehensively and polishes an even, smooth surface. Then he scans that Hole with a digital camera. A computer creates a virtual map. Now it is the turn of the dental technician in the laboratory or, in modern dental practices, a computer with a milling machine. He makes an appropriate replacement Glass, oxide or zirconium oxide ceramics. The dentist then inserts the resulting tooth replacement into the hole with a special adhesive or composite.

Ceramic is visually hardly distinguishable from the real tooth, because the exact tooth color is recorded during the scanning process and then developed.

  • Lasts 8 to 10 years
  • Suitable for molars and chewing surfaces
  • High costs, because the health insurance only pays a subsidy equal to the cost of an amalgam filling
  • That is why it is worth taking out additional dental insurance
  • Not suitable if you grind your teeth or chew in your sleep at night. This can tear the ceramic inlay

Health insurance benefits and additional dental insurance

Health insurance companies pay for all amalgam fillings. In the case of incisors or proven amalgam intolerance, they also provide a single-layer composite filling. But be careful: If you only want a more inconspicuous filling for reasons of beauty, the dentist will invoice you for the additional costs. It is best to always discuss the options with your dentist and your health insurance company.

When is a tooth filling necessary?

Your dentist always recommends a filling when he has one Defect in the hard tooth substance diagnosed. You will also notice a hole in your tooth. It makes your teeth more sensitive and may cause pain. If the hole is still small, it is possible to dispense with an immediate filling. Basically, however, this helps to preserve the rest of the tooth without restrictions and not to damage it any further. As the size of the hole increases, so does the sensitivity to pain.

In addition to a carious defect, the main reason for a filling is a broken tooth - either through carelessness or an accident. In order to protect the tooth and restore its functionality, your dentist will put a filling in for you.

Tooth fillings due to wear and tear and defects

Also Erosions may require a filling: they form on teeth when they are exposed to acid. They become recognizable as soon as the tooth enamel shows the first signs of damage. A filling closes the erosion and prevents further damage to the tooth enamel.

Another problem that the dentist solves with a filling: a lot is created when teeth are severely grinded Friction. Over time, this leaves defects on the tooth. Your dentist will compensate for the defects with a filling. Another option for using a filling are Tooth neck defects.

How do you know you have a hole in your tooth?

In most cases, your dentist will alert you of a hole during a routine exam. If you go to the controls regularly, it will recognize small holes and respond with one individual treatment thereon. There are also signs by which you can identify a hole for yourself:

  • A tooth with a hole is very sensitive to different temperatures. Both hot and cold dishes can trigger a sensation of pain. Take this seriously and speak to your dentist about it.
  • In general, increasing sensitivity is the result of holes in the tooth.
  • A hole can be felt with the tongue. If you gently run your tongue over your teeth, you will feel holes larger than a certain size. Then make an appointment with your dentist.

Treatment with fillings

When using a filling, the course of treatment depends on the type of filling chosen. Your dentist will distinguish between direct and indirect fillings. Direct fillings offer a time advantage: your dentist repairs the tooth directly during the appointment. Indirect fillings extend over 2 days of treatment.

Dental treatment with direct fillings

With direct fillings, your dentist will clean the tooth and disinfect the cavity. He inserts in order to process the filling properly special mold around the tooth. If you choose a plastic filling, the doctor will apply a gel. This roughen the tooth surface. The filling then adheres better. To ensure that the filling material does not become unnecessarily damp, the dental staff places cotton rolls and a rubber dam, the so-called rubber dam.

Your dentist uses glue to fix the plastic filling. He applies this thinly to the tooth. The adhesive finally cures with UV light. Depending on the size and nature a second layer of glue required. Your dentist will now insert the filling and adapt it to the tooth so that you do not feel it when you chew.

Composite fillings harden in UV light. After removing all accessories, your dentist will adjust and check the filling. This is followed by a polish. Your dentist will then inform you whether there are any short restrictions.

This is how the treatment with an indirect filling works

If you choose an indirect filling, plan You 2 days for treatment at the dentist. On the first day of treatment, your dentist will prepare everything for the insole filling. A dental technician will make the filling precisely for you. Only on the second day will your dentist glue them into the affected tooth.

This happens on the first day of treatment

In detail, the process looks like this: First, you will receive a short local anesthetic to make the treatment as relaxing as possible. The dentist then exposes the existing tooth decay in order to thoroughly eliminate it. There are no traces left. After the cavity has been cleaned, it is disinfected. Your dentist will now take an impression. This is what the dental technician needs to produce the filling. To avoid restrictions until the next day, your dentist will put one temporary filling a. In this way he avoids unnecessary pain and sensitivity.

This is how the second day of treatment works

The next day the dentist continues the treatment with the removal of the temporary filling. As with the direct fillings, he now positions cotton rolls and rubber dam. These aids absorb moisture that arises during the treatment. This is how a dry treatment environment, in which an optimal processing of the filling is possible.

If the tooth to be treated is dry, your dentist will finally insert the filling. After a first fitting, he adjusts them, so that an optimal fit is guaranteed is. To ensure that the filling lasts for a long time, the cavity is cleaned and disinfected again. Your dentist then attaches the inlay with a special adhesive.

He then removes any adhesive residue and all auxiliary materials. Finally, he checks the fit of the tooth filling again.

Which filling is the right one?

The possible fillings for your tooth differ from one another in terms of composition, properties and use. It is not easy for patients to choose the right filling.

In addition, the decision for or against a certain filling material always depends on the person Position of the tooth to be treated from. There are teeth in which the filling experiences high chewing pressure. This means that the material is particularly stressed. Talk to your dentist! He will help you to find the right material.


Amalgam fillings are paid for by health insurance companies. But because of their color, they are less suitable for the front teeth. With their subtle appearance and medium durability, plastic fillings offer a good compromise. Ceramic and gold fillings are an investment because they are significantly more expensive. However, they are extremely durable. In addition, the material does not interact with the body. The best way to clarify which tooth filling is right for you is in a conversation with your dentist.