Tooth Colored Fillings – Dental Filling
The best way to treat a dental decay is by filling.
When dentists fill a cavity, they first remove the decay, thoroughly clean the area, and fill the cavity with a filling material. A good filling will last anywhere from 5 to 50 years. If you’re going to have a filling in your mouth for that long, it’s fair enough to want to know what it’s made of and how it compares to other types of fillings.
The two most common filling materials dentists use are silver amalgam fillings and tooth-colored composite fillings. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each filling type and why dentists sometimes choose one over the other.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings last a long time, but they require your dentist to remove more tooth structure.
Silver fillings are sturdy. They are a tried-and-true option that last a long time in most patients. You just can’t beat their longevity!
Amalgam fillings expand and contract differently than the tooth itself, so we sometimes see cracks in the natural tooth around a silver filling as a result of this difference in expansion and contraction. This can eventually lead to decay forming in the cracks, tooth sensitivity, or tooth breakage.
Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
These days, more and more patients are getting tooth-colored fillings. They look more natural and don’t require your dentist to remove as much tooth structure.Tooth-colored composite fillings are great because they look natural and they bond directly to the tooth so dentists do not need to remove much tooth structure to place them. Composite fillings also don’t put you at risk for cracks in adjacent natural tooth structure the way amalgams do.
If there’s a problem with a small area of a composite filling, we can remove and replace just that part without replacing the entire filling. If there’s a problem with even a small part of your amalgam filling, we’d have to remove the whole thing.