Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged from tooth decay and cavities. In the past, amalgam (silver) was the leading material choice for fillings. However, not only is amalgam much darker than your teeth, but it also tends to expand and contract in reaction to extreme temperatures – which can cause your tooth to crack or even fracture. For these reasons, a newer material (known as composite-resin) is becoming a more popular choice for dental fillings. From composite’s appearance to its ability to bond with your tooth structure, these bonded fillings (vs. metal fillings) offer many more benefits for your tooth restoration overall.
Metal Fillings: Amalgam comes in one color – dark grey. The darker appearance of the filling typically stands out against the light natural color of your teeth.
Bonded Fillings: Composite closely resembles the appearance of your natural teeth through both its color and shine – creating an incredibly seamless smile. Most likely, you and your dentist will be the only people who notice your filling (and that’s just because you know where it is).
Metal Fillings: A certain amount of amalgam has to be used to fill your tooth for proper support and restoration. This could mean that a larger portion of your tooth is removed than is decayed – if the cavity is too small. However, the material itself is tougher and stronger than composite.
Bonded Fillings: Due to its ability to bond with the structure of your tooth, composite can fill any space no matter the size. Often times, this is able to preserve more of your tooth’s natural structure – providing a stronger foundation. On the other hand, while the material is softer than metal – it has already improved (in strength) since it was first introduced in the dental industry. Now, dentists feel comfortable enough with its strength to use it on the teeth that endure the most pressure (whether it be from chewing, clenching, grinding, etc.) in the back of the mouth, whereas before, it was only used on front teeth.
Do you need to treat a cavity? Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist today!