What is filling?
When there is a cavity (decay, or caries) on a tooth, the decayed part of the tooth needs to be removed. If the decay is not removed from the tooth, it will grow bigger and turn into bigger problems ending in root canal therapy or possible loss of that tooth. Once the decay is removed, a filling is placed. Fillings have limitations and in order to be successful a certain amount of strong tooth is needed to support the filling.
What is the difference between amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth-colored) fillings?
The most common choices for filling most cavities are between silver amalgams (a mixture of silver-tin alloy, copper and mercury that sets up hard and silver colored) and composite resin (a mixture of acrylic plastics, quartz fillers and colorants). There are several differences besides the obviously more esthetic results of composites over amalgams.
However certain teeth or areas may be better off with amalgam filling (silver). The choice of which restorative material to use in your mouth depends on balancing the factors of appearance, longevity, strength of the tooth involved and cost. A consultation with one of our Dentists will help you decide which type of filling will be better for you. Sometimes the dentist may recommend changing an old filling that may be chipped, fractured or corroded. Some fillings that are old may still be doing well and don’t need to be changed.