Composite (white) vs. Amalgam (silver) Fillings
Our doctors are great at keeping up with the latest and greatest things in dentistry. Because they are so well educated and are always learning through continuing education, they feel that it is best to do composite (tooth colored) fillings and not amalgam (silver) fillings. Check out his blog post to learn why we think composite fillings are so great!
What is a composite restoration? A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Composites can be used for decayed areas or cosmetic improvements and can be matched to the shade of your tooth.
How is a composite placed? Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. Finally, it is polished and made to feel smooth.
What are the advantages of composites? Aesthetics is one of the many advantages of composite fillings. Dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. Composites often allow a dentist to prepare a cavity much smaller and in a more conservative manner than silver fillings. Making a smaller filling is very important to the strength of a tooth and for increasing the amount of time a filling will wear.
If you are a bottom line kind of person – here are the main reasons we recommend composite fillings over amalgam fillings:
- Composites allow more tooth strength and are more preventive of tooth fracture
- Composites have more hot and cold insulating properties
- Composites are more aesthetically pleasing
- Some people are allergic to silver mercury amalgams
- Composites seal the margins of restorations better and do not leak like an amalgam, therefore they last longer than amalgams
- Composites can be repaired with minor problems that develop whereas amalgams most often must be completely replaced.