Which Type of Filling Is Best?

May 13, 2021

When most people think of fillings, they picture a mouth full of metal. Fortunately, at Stellar Kids Dentistry, your family has options. Gone are the days when metal fillings were your only cavity treatment. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Everett, Mill Creek, or Mukilteo, Washington, we have plenty of filling options at our three locations.

Choosing the right filling for your child is a big decision, especially if they have permanent teeth or milk teeth with cavities. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of your child’s tooth filling options.

Why does my child need a filling?

When your child has a cavity, that decay can spread. It eventually penetrates the deeper layers of their tooth. It can even extend to their surrounding teeth. The best kids’ dentist knows how serious spreading decay can be for your little one’s dental health.

To stop the tooth decay from spreading, the team at Stellar Kids Dentistry removes the decayed portion. Next, they restore the size and shape of your child’s tooth with a filling. This helps maintain their bite and tooth function while protecting against further damage.

What are the different filling options?

The most popular filling options include:

Amalgam (silver) fillings

Amalgam fillings are traditional silver fillings. They’re made of various metal materials, including copper, tin, silver, and mercury. While they’ve been used in dentistry for more than 150 years, silver fillings have certain pros and cons that parents may want to consider.


Some of the advantages of amalgam fillings include:

  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Quick treatment


Some of the disadvantages of amalgam fillings include:

  • Dark and highly noticeable 
  • High levels of mercury
  • Doesn’t mold very well to teeth
  • More tooth structure needs to be removed
  • Metal materials can corrode over time

Composite fillings

Also called tooth-colored fillings or white fillings, composite fillings blend in seamlessly with your child’s smile. Placing a composite resin filling is more complex than amalgam fillings. Composite resin is a liquid material. Your child’s dentist uses a special dental brush to apply the material to their tooth and hardens it with a curing light after each layer.


Some of the advantages of composite fillings include:

  • Color-matching materials
  • Adheres to the crevices of each tooth
  • Preserves natural tooth structure
  • Less noticeable than amalgam fillings
  • Blends in with every tooth


Some of the disadvantages of composite fillings include:

  • Not as long-lasting as amalgam fillings
  • Wears down easily from excessive chewing
  • More time-consuming to place than amalgam fillings

Glass ionomer fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are made out of acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate, materials found in glass. Stellar Kids Dentistry is proud to offer Equia Forte®, which is currently the best on the market. Popular in Europe, glass ionomer fillings actually release fluoride over time. Fluoride strengthens and protects teeth from cavities. With a glass ionomer filling, your child has extra protection against tooth decay.


Some of the advantages of glass ionomer fillings include:

  • Biocompatible
  • Gradual release of tooth-strengthening fluoride
  • Faster placement than composite fillings
  • Color-matching materials


Some of the disadvantages of glass ionomer fillings include:

  • Doesn’t last as long as composite or amalgam fillings
  • Doesn’t blend in as well as composite fillings
  • Not as durable as composite or amalgam fillings


Whether your child needs fillings form a pediatric dentist in Bothell, Everett, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, or the surrounding communities, we have a location near you. To learn more about fillings and cavity treatments, call Stellar Kids Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today!