Mint Dental

(423) 486-9650

Doc's Notes


No matter how well you care for your teeth, decay can still happen. When that decay affects your front teeth, it’s important to choose fillings that can restore your teeth’s function and appearance.

It can also be tricky.

Because your front teeth are highly visible, they require fillings that not only seamlessly match the color of your natural teeth, but also maintain the strength and function of teeth that are thinner and more delicate than your back teeth.

Luckily, dental technology has advanced considerably in recent decades, providing numerous options to help you maintain a great smile.


When it comes to choosing a filling material, your dentist will recommend one or more of the following options based on your aesthetic needs, the extent of your tooth damage or decay, your budget, and your personal preferences.

Composite Resin Fillings

Made from a mixture of plastic and glass particles, composite resin fillings offer excellent aesthetic benefits, closely matching natural tooth color for a seamless appearance. They bond directly to the tooth, providing strength and durability. They also require less removal of the tooth, preserving more of its natural structure and supporting overall dental health. Not quite as durable as amalgam fillings, composite resin fillings may require replacement over time.

Cermet Fillings

Named after their combination of ceramic and metal, cermet fillings offer enhanced durability and strength. While not as aesthetically pleasing as other fillings, cermet fillings are useful in high-stress areas needing robust support. They provide a good seal against decay and are more resistant to wear than traditional materials.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are made from a mixture of acrylic and glass, giving them a very natural look. They release fluoride, aiding in cavity prevention and tooth strengthening, and they bond effectively to teeth, ensuring a secure fit. While glass ionomer fillings are especially helpful if you are prone to cavities, they are also slightly less durable than other fillings, and are best suited for small cavities or for children’s primary teeth.

Composite and Porcelain Inlays/Onlays

While composite and porcelain inlays/onlays require two office visits, they provide excellent aesthetics, closely matching natural tooth color and translucency. Often used for larger repairs, composite and porcelain inlays/onlays offer durable, long-lasting restorations with a precise fit. They also preserve more of your natural tooth structure and resist stains, ensuring a seamless and enduring smile.

Porcelain Fillings

Also known as ceramic fillings, porcelain fillings provide superior aesthetics and are customizable to match any tooth color. They are also highly resistant to staining and are very durable, maintaining their appearance over time. It should be noted that they are more pricey than other options, and may require multiple dental visits.


After getting dental fillings, you can expect mild sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as pressure, which typically goes away in a few days. You should avoid chewing on the treated side until the numbness wears off.

Your dentist will also recommend follow-up visits to monitor the condition of your fillings and address any issues or concerns you may have. Be sure to follow your dentist’s care instructions for optimal healing.

Dr. Armstrong and the team at our office in downtown Chattanooga can help you find the right filling option for your smile and your budget. Click here to schedule an appointment today!

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