Dental restorations are the bread and butter of dentistry. Teeth can chip and fracture, decay can cause cavities and thus teeth may need to be restored to replace this missing structure. Restorations can range from simple fillings to complex crowns and even bridges. There are many different types of materials used to make fillings in teeth.


Amalgam is an excellent material for teeth and has been around for many, many years. It is proven to be a very reliable filling material, however, it is a little outdated and does have some major issues.

Amalgam’s best properties are that it is very strong, and due to the fact that it is a metal, it corrodes in the mouth. This corrosion is very good in some respects because it helps to seal the margins of the filling on the tooth, but it can cause other problems such as staining of the teeth and gums and interfere with other metallic restorations in your mouth.

Amalgams don’t bond to tooth structure and so to ensure that the filling stays in your tooth, channels and grooves need to be cut into the tooth to lock it in place. This can cause more tooth removal than is necessary which can cause additional stresses inside the tooth, making it more likely to fracture. They also look dark and silver.

Amalgam restorations are not recommended by us in the vast majority of cases.

Composite Resin

These are the main materials used for fillings in most general dental practices and it’s what we use routinely.  They are both strong and fracture resistant, wear resistant, bonds to tooth structure, and are white coloured. Because they are essentially ‘glued’ onto the teeth with a special bonding agent, the quality of these types of materials can sometimes be compromised if the dentist doesn’t take care to isolate the tooth from saliva. In most cases, a rubber dam is essential to ensure the best quality.

Often, fillings of this type are unable to be differentiated from normal tooth and when done well and looked after properly, they can last a very, very long time.


These are normally used as temporary fillings because they are brittle and wear down quickly. They are white coloured and have a big advantage in that they bond to the tooth and release fluoride to the tooth. They are good filling materials to use in children’s teeth (as these teeth will be lost eventually) and also in people who have a particularly hard time with dental decay.

The Compass Dental Care Difference
  • Even though nobody may ever see our work, we take pride to ensure that each restoration is crafts the tooth back to its original form. You don’t need to put up with fillings that catch food, or an inability to floss after visiting the dentist. We use the highest quality bonding agents and materials to ensure long lasting restorations.
  • Using the Trios Intraoral scanner, we are able to take accurate shade measurements to ensure accurate colour matching of anterior restorations.
  • Our T-Scan occlusal scanner can measure discrepancies in your bite down to the nearest microsecond, thus ensuring that you don’t have to put up with fillings that feel ‘high’ in the bite.
  • We practice minimally invasive dentistry utilising the latest technology such as ozone and silver fluoride to disinfect tooth decay. This ensures that we only remove what is required when restoring your teeth.
  •  We can accommodate many types of anaesthetics including local, nitrous oxide sedation and twilight sleep dentistry if required by you so that you can be assured that you will be looked after and not have to deal with the anxiety of dental treatment