Amalgam Vs Composite Fillings
Ann Arbor, MI
Brushing your teeth and flossing every day is important to your oral health. When you skip brushing, bacteria build up in your mouth. These bacteria produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing tooth decay and small pits in your teeth, known as cavities. At Everwell Dentistry, we provide fillings, which fill the cavities, preventing further damage to your teeth.
Amalgam fillings are more commonly referred to as silver fillings. They are made up of metals (silver, tin, copper, zinc) suspended in mercury. For many years, amalgam fillings have been the most popular option when it comes to filling cavities, with 150 years of successful use under its belt.
The process for getting amalgam fillings is rather straightforward and takes only one visit. If necessary, we can administer a local anesthetic, which helps with any discomfort that may be felt. We then use a drill to remove the decay and create a space in which to place the filling. The material is packed into the cavity, smoothed and dried.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings have several benefits:
|Strength. Amalgam is an exceptionally strong material and can withstand hard chewing forces, making it ideal for back teeth.
|Affordable. It is also covered under most dental insurance plans.
Amalgam also has several disadvantages as well:
|The material stands out against your natural teeth.
|It requires more of your tooth to be drilled to place the filling.
|Large fillings can weaken the tooth.
|The metal alloy can cause an allergic reaction in some patients.
|Mercury causes concern for many patients.
Composite fillings are made up of a fine glass of a resin material. These fillings are white, which means that they more closely match the color of your natural teeth. This material can also be used to fix minor imperfections in your teeth as well. There are two methods for placing these fillings.
The first method is similar to that of amalgam fillings. After the tooth is cleaned of decay, the composite material is placed into the cavity and hardened with a special blue light. It is then polished smooth.
The second method is known as an indirect filling. This particular filling requires two visits. During the first visit, we remove the decay from your tooth. Then, we take a mold of your mouth and send it to a lab, where a custom filling is created. It is cemented in place during your second visit.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings have numerous advantages:
|They match the color of your teeth.
|Less drilling is required.
|They strengthen, rather than weaken, your teeth.
|The filling does not expand or contract with temperature changes.
Despite these advantages, there are also a few disadvantages:
|The material is not moisture tolerant and requires the area to be completely dry before placing the filling.
|Composite is not as strong as amalgam and is more susceptible to damage.
|These fillings tend to be more expensive, and aren't necessarily covered by insurance.
Ignoring a cavity can have devastating effects on the health of your mouth. Call Everwell Dentistry today to schedule your appointment and learn more about your filling options.