Used to prevent the spread of tooth decay or correct any cosmetic damage, a filling is just one of the ways our dentists preserve your health. Before placement, the cavitated lesion must be removed. We offer local anesthesia along with sedation (i.e. nitrous oxide) to ensure maximum comfort for our patients. There are two different types of fillings: amalgam (otherwise known as silver fillings) and composite resin, the color of which can be customized to match your natural teeth.
Made up of silver, copper, mercury, and tin, amalgam fillings are the most durable and economical option for our patients. They tend to last a very long time. Amalgam is a very hard, durable material. The common issue with amalgam fillings is that the material is so hard, it can cause damage to the surrounding tooth resulting in fractures of natural tooth structure. Mercury is the component in amalgam fillings that allows for all of the metals to combine into an alloy. The American Dental Association still considers amalgam fillings to be a safe and effective filling material to be used in teeth.
Since the color of a composite resin filling can be customized, it is the most aesthetically pleasing option. The composition of composite resin is much closer to natural tooth structure and therefore tends to be a much nicer material to the surrounding tooth compared to amalgam. When placing a composite restoration, the preparation must be completely isolated and dry. This can sometimes be difficult to achieve and can be a specific scenario where amalgam would be preferred over composite.
We always discuss the pros and cons of both filling materials with patients prior to treatment and figure out the material of choice for every situation.