At Glesne Family Dentistry we believe in discussing all dental treatment options available to you. This includes discussing the advantages and disadvantages of particular filling materials with you.
Dental Amalgam is a commonly used dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has many advantages over other restorative material, such as low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.
Amalgam is used in dentistry for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement; it remains soft for a short time so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume, and then forms a hard compound. Amalgam possesses greater longevity than other direct restorative materials, such as composite. On average, most amalgam restorations serve for 10 to 12 years, whereas resin-based composites serve for about half that time. However, with recent improvements in composite material science and a better understanding of the technique-sensitivity of placement, it should be noted that this difference is decreasing.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.
Disadvantages of Silver fillings:
While silver fillings are known for their practicality and longevity they do have drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are often advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlaysare bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Some of the resins used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride, this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
The result is a beautiful smile!
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!