Tooth fillings need very little explanation; they are a restoration that “fills-in” a hole in a tooth after decay is removed. Fillings can be Amalgam, or silver filling, and a Composite, or tooth-colored filling. We provide both in our practice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which we’ll explain here. First, however, we want to highlight that the main takeaway from this is the importance of cavity prevention. In other words, the best dental filling is no dental filling. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental issues simply by:
Made from hard metals like silver, tin and copper, Amalgam is designed to last a long time.
Less expensive than composite fillings.
Ideal for large cavities that occur in back molars where forceful chewing takes place.
Not natural looking; especially if placed near the front of the mouth.
To prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure than for composite fillings.
There is the presence of mercury in Amalgam and although proven safe, it’s something to consider.
Tooth-colored resin creates a natural look, especially if placed near the front of the mouth.
Resin fillings are bonded to the teeth, creating a tight fit to the tooth structure, even if most of it has been lost.
Good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure.
Can wear out quicker than the alternative under forceful chewing conditions.
Possible increase in sensitivity to biting and cold.
More expensive than Amalgam fillings.
Main differences between Amalgam and Composite fillings, you need to essentially consider where the necessary filling is located. If it’s in a tooth that will endure a lot of chewing and crunching, like a back molar, the Amalgam may be the best choice. If it’s a tooth that is visible with your smile, and will only need to withstand moderate chewing, then the Composite is likely best.