When you develop tooth decay, your dentist will remove the decayed areas of the tooth. This will leave a cavity, a hollow space that needs to be filled in. The dental material that your dentist will use to fill in the cavity must be tough, durable and strong so that the tooth gets the support it needs, and starts functioning normally once again.
In the past, dentists used silver amalgam as fillings. Today, you can ask your dentist to use composite tooth-colored filling to fill in the empty space in your tooth.
What are the advantages of opting for tooth-colored fillings?
– You do not have to worry about the health risks associated with using silver amalgam, which contains mercury.
– You are likely to feel less sensitivity and discomfort after the treatment.
– The tooth-colored fillings look normal against your natural teeth. They are the material of choice for use in the front teeth because they look so much like natural teeth.
What are the disadvantages associated with tooth-colored fillings?
– They cost more than silver amalgam.
– Only an experienced dentist can satisfactorily do the procedure.
There are patients who still prefer silver amalgam fillings over tooth-colored composite ones due to the following reasons:
1. Filling the tooth with silver amalgam is a simpler and faster process.
2. Most dentists seem to find it easier to work with silver amalgam than with other alternatives. Most consider silver fillings to be more durable than tooth-colored resin-based fillings. Silver amalgam is the material of choice for most dentists, especially when it comes to filling the back teeth that do high-pressure chewing and grinding of food.
3. Silver amalgam does not involve the use of complex, and highly developed techniques or dental equipment. It is much less expensive than tooth-colored composite fillings.
4. Dentists have been using silver amalgam safely on patients for quite some time now.
The points against the use of silver amalgam include the following:
1. Silver amalgam has been known to react to changes in temperature in the mouth. It can contract and expand, affecting the condition of the tooth.
2. Your dentist has to remove a greater portion of your tooth to accommodate silver amalgam.
3. The material is noticeably different in color compared to the rest of the teeth. Other people are likely to know that you have had some dental work done.
4. Silver filling is a mixture of copper, tin, silver and mercury. The latter makes up half of the compound. It is the material, which binds everything together so that the filling becomes hard, durable and strong. Some patients are afraid that the mercury in the silver amalgam may be harmful to health.
Your dentist will help you decide which type of filling you want. You will have to consider several factors like your history as a patient, the location and extent of the cavity, cost and cosmetic concerns.