Dentistry has evolved in many ways throughout the years. One of the biggest advancements relates to how modern dentists can repair cavities and fix minor tooth damage. In the past, dentists primarily used amalgam for their dental filling material. However, patients can now take advantage of a safer, more effective and more natural-looking filling option using composite resin. Here are the top reasons why composite fillings can be considered superior to amalgam (or silver) fillings.
Safety: Perhaps the most well-known fact about amalgam fillings is that they contain mercury. The American Dental Association supports the use of dental amalgam as a safe, affordable and durable material. Still, the public has voiced a significant concern over the use of mercury in dental fillings. The major concern is if mercury is released from the filling resulting in adverse effects to your health. It is confirmed that amalgam fillings can, in fact, leak the toxic vapors of mercury if the margins are damaged or the filling is cracked. The FDA and World Health Organization, however, are not willing to admit that any proven adverse health effects have been linked with amalgam fillings. Still, we know that mercury is a highly toxic element and it is understandable why patients want to avoid the risk.
Strength and Durability: Unlike amalgam fillings, a composite filling is bonded to the tooth. This is an important difference, as this allows the weakened or damage tooth to regain strength and durability for future use. A silver filling is simply wedged in between the cusps of the affected tooth, and does not actually bond to the tooth surface. In consequence, amalgam fillings are more prone to crack or cause the underlying tooth to crack.
Treatment Requirements: When placing a composite filling, we don’t have to remove as much healthy existing tooth structure as we would if we placed a silver filling. A more conservative procedure and saving more of your tooth is always plus!
Aesthetics: One of the most valued benefits of composite fillings is their tooth-colored appearance. Unlike silver fillings, composite can blend seamlessly within your smile. Therefore, no one has to know that you ever had a cavity or other type of tooth damage.
At Rivers + Tanner Family Dentistry, we proudly offer composite, tooth-colored fillings when restoring a damaged or decayed tooth. Because we value our patients, we always pursue the latest and most preferred treatment options in modern dentistry!