Tooth Colored and Silver Fillings
Fillings are meant to be small repairs to teeth damaged by cavities. Every filling weakens a tooth, and is merely a moderately successful attempt to replace the superior original tooth structure. To this end, we strongly stress prevention as the best way to preserve your oral health.
This being said, there are two ways commonly used to fill cavity damaged teeth-composite (tooth colored) and amalgam (silver) fillings. While both these materials can be used to fix teeth, they are very different in their makeup and placemant. Composite fillings are mixtures of plastic and porcelain, and are bonded to the tooth. They are initially less temperature sensitive after being placed, and do not weaken the tooth as much as silver fillings. During placement, the tooth must be kept moisture free. As a result, they cannot be used successfully in all areas of your mouth. Amalgam fillings are mixtures of metals, including mercury. They function more as a “plug” in the tooth, and are initially more temperature sensitive after placement. They are more resistant to dietary acids than composites, and have proven to be longer lasting on average in the back teeth than composites. They also don’t mind getting wet while being placed in teeth, adding to their versatility.
Both types of fillings are reliable, safe, time tested methods to restore teeth.
Would you like additional information? Try these helpful links on Tooth Fillings:
FAQ’s on Tooth Fillings
A very commonly asked question, and this is unfortunately often tempered with emotion rather than scientific facts. Both composite and amalgam fillings have been extensively studied in the United States and Europe. Several of these studies have spanned decades, and involved thousands of participants. No reputable or repeatable evidence has ever been found to indicate either of these filling types are unsafe. I have silver fillings in my mouth, and have placed both types in my family’s teeth. It is my opinion that much of the scare tactics published in the press are designed to make dentists more money, as the alternatives to silver fillings are often much more expensive for the patient. If you wish to split hairs, the composite fillings are actually slightly more toxic that the silver ones! That being said, I would confidently place either kind in my own mouth. Please refer to the links on this page, and always feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns on this matter.
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