Silver or Tooth Colored Fillings
When a dentist drills out the decayed part of a tooth, the resulting hole needs to be filled with something or the decay will recur. There is a wide variety of materials dentists use to fill teeth, and each one has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. While each option is different, the differences between tooth colored restorations and silver amalgam fillings are important to note.
Silver (Amalgam) Fillings
The long-standing traditional material used for fillings is an amalgam made out of tin, copper, mercury, zinc and silver. While silver amalgam can be cost-effective, it can also be visible when a person laughs or smiles, lending an unsightly appearance to the back and side teeth. Another drawback is that the material does not actually bond to teeth. The dentist has to form a ledge to act as a pocket, which can mean making the hole larger than strictly necessary. Another concern with silver amalgam is that some people have reported sensitivity to the metals used. This material lasts for a long time, but there are other cost-effective and aesthetically-pleasing options available at Britt Dental Center.
Tooth Colored Fillings
The type of material used for tooth colored fillings is a strong composite resin containing glass particles and a type of plastic. It is soft and malleable at first, allowing our dentist to fix chips in the front teeth or fill cavities at the gum lines without being visible. The composite is then hardened under a special blue light, bonding the material in place. Composite resin is durable, cost-effective and – because it matches your natural tooth color – highly pleasing to the eye. Composite material used for tooth colored restorations bonds to the tooth, which can help reinforce it, creating a natural appearance. For example, a person with tooth colored fillings in their front teeth can still bite into hard or crunchy foods without damaging their dental work. And no one will know you have a filling! If cared for properly, tooth colored fillings can last for decades before needing maintenance.