Fillings, Crowns and Implants — How to Decide What’s Right for You

Puzzled by the types of dental fillings and other work you might have performed at your dentist? No need to be — we’ve extracted all you need to know.

If you’re going to have some work done on your teeth, perhaps an extraction or a procedure to save a tooth (root canal) or something else, you may be wondering what the end result will be. What method will your dentist use to cover over any work so that your teeth still look good, what types of dental fillings might you have and is it possible you could even have a dental implant or crown?

For the layperson, the choice of dental procedures now available at most dentists, including our three at The James Clinic, can often be bewildering, if not downright confusing. This is why it’s always essential to have a dental team that puts you first, as we do, and after a careful examination of your problem advises you on the range of options available. In this case, it would be the types of dental fillings and crowns and implants — and what might be best suited to you. Only then, when you’re fully satisfied with the work to be done, will they go ahead.

The fully devised treatment plan will contain every step that’s needed to carry out the procedure in a highly professional manner. It will address any particular needs or concerns you may have and also — equally importantly — it will have a budget for the work. If it’s an expensive procedure (one costing several thousand euros, for example), it’s possible that your clinic may have financing options available, as we do, and this will lighten the burden and allow you to make payments over several months or up to a year or more.

Types of Dental Fillings

Fillings have long been the main solution to repairing a damaged or decayed tooth, but generally they’re only possible where there’s a small amount of damage; anything larger and you could be looking at a crown to restore the natural look of the tooth. When a filling is required and there’s a suitable tooth, the decayed part is first removed and then the tooth is cleaned in preparation for adding a type of dental filling.

This is usually — now — something that is a close colour match to the tooth and doesn’t look strange, such as the traditional silver/grey fillings that have previously been used in dentistry. That would be a substance called amalgam, which is a combination of metals, including mercury; it’s incredibly hard and long-lasting, and there are no known health risks to using it in patients. But due to the introduction of new legislation in Ireland, and across the European Union, the use of amalgam is being phased down, and it’s more for environmental reasons than anything else. Instead, the types of dental fillings you can expect to have include porcelain, a composite resin and even gold, if you like a bit of oral bling.

Dental Implants

If you’re missing much or all of a tooth, due to disease or damage, it’s possible you’ll need either a bridge, which will cover the gap after it’s extracted, or a dental implant. The procedure takes place over several months and involves several stages and types of material: a screw that’s placed in the jaw; an abutment that’s placed on top of the screw; and a crown that covers the abutment and gives you the look of a natural tooth. Dental implants are not for everyone, however, as the condition of the jaw may render it unsuitable, and this can be due to a variety of reasons, including existing health conditions. But if you do have an implant, you can look forward to a lasting piece of dentistry that will drastically improve your smile.


If you have a tooth, or teeth, that are badly damaged and your dentist is looking at what’s best to restore its functionality and look, they may recommend you have a crown. This is a piece of material, usually made from hard-wearing porcelain, that’s fitted over the entire tooth after it’s prepared by filing it down to a suitable size. The crown will have the effect of helping to strengthen the tooth and it will also give a big boost to how it works and looks. Crowns are bonded to the existing tooth structure and are highly durable and will last for many years. They will also give you an amazing, dazzling smile.

The James Clinic has the best types of dental fillings and everything else you may need to improve the function and appearance of your teeth. Contact us today to make an appointment with our friendly dentists, and restore your oral health.