Having a dental filling placed to restore a tooth is the most common of all dental procedures. Most often referred to as a cavity, dental fillings are used to fill holes and make simple repairs to teeth following the removal of decay and for the repair of damage including chips. If you have a tooth in need of repair, our team at College Hill Dental will examine and discuss treatment options during your appointment.
Dental caries is the decay or crumbling of the tooth due to bacteria. This damage can be repaired with filling material if the damage is small. Larger damage may require the addition of a dental crown. The filling material used today is stronger and longer lasting than ever before, we have confidence in their durability and added strength that they provide your tooth structure.
Amalgam is the traditional metal filling that has been used for decades in the repair of teeth. It is most noted for its dark silver coloring and often loved for its strong durability and longevity. Amalgam is formed using various metals that are blended with a small amount of mercury. The presence of mercury can cause some patients concern, but the level used is well within the safety parameters recognized by the American Dental Association.
Patients like amalgam fillings because:
|•||Strength: Amalgam fillings allow more pressure to be applied to the tooth without breakage versus composite fillings.|
|•||Longevity:We have decades of research and data to demonstrate the longevity of this material, it has proven to be able to remain in place for many years.|
Patients dislike amalgam fillings because:
|•||Dark Color: Amalgam fillings are dark in color, they can sometimes be seen through the translucency of a tooth. Due to its dark color, we generally only place amalgam in back molars.|
does not adhere to the tooth, this means that we need to shape the tooth to fit the amalgam, often resulting in more tooth structure removal.
Composite fillings are now the preferred filling material for most patients. The material used today is strong and better than ever. Composite fillings are made using crushed quartz that is blended with a resin material. Composite material can be shaded to match your teeth and is metal free.
Patients like composite fillings because:
|•||Hidden: Composite fillings can be matched in shade to your tooth color, this helps the repair work be hidden in your mouth.|
|•||Metal Free: Though amalgam is within safety guidelines, the metal still causes some patients concern, they like having a metal free option.|
|•||Remove Less Tooth: Composite material does adhere to the tooth, this means that we only need to remove the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth. It is always best to retain as much natural tooth as possible.|
Patients dislike composite fillings because:
|•||Expense: Composite fillings are more cost than traditional amalgam.|
|•||Breakage: Though rare, composite fillings are more subject to breakage than amalgam.|