When it comes to dental fillings, you have two main choices: amalgam or composite. Amalgam fillings are made of metal and have been used for over a century, while resin-based composite fillings are a more recent development. Both materials have their benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision about which type of filling is best for you.
Why Composite Fillings Are Important
Composite fillings are made of a resin material that is designed to match the colour of the patient’s natural teeth. This makes them an excellent choice for visible teeth, such as those in the front of the mouth. Composite fillings can also be used to repair chips, cracks and gaps in teeth.
One of the primary benefits of composite fillings is that they are very durable. With proper care, they can last for up to 10 years. Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, which provides additional strength and support. Plus, they are less likely to expand or contract with changes in temperature, which reduces the risk of cracking or breaking.
Another benefit of composite fillings is that they require minimal removal of the tooth structure compared with amalgam fillings. This means that more of the natural tooth can be preserved, which is better for overall dental health. Composite fillings are also more comfortable than amalgam fillings, as they do not conduct temperature as much.
Pros and Cons of Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin and copper. They have been used for over a century and are still a popular choice for some patients.
One of the primary benefits of amalgam fillings is that they are very durable. They can last for up to 15 years with proper care. They are also less expensive than composite fillings, which makes them a more attractive option for some patients.
However, there are some drawbacks to amalgam fillings. Because they are silver in colour, they are much more noticeable than composite fillings – making them a less attractive option for visible teeth. Amalgam fillings also require more removal of your tooth structure, which can weaken the tooth over time.
Another potential issue with amalgam fillings is that they contain small amounts of mercury. While the FDA has determined that the levels of mercury in amalgam fillings are safe, some patients may still be concerned about the potential risks.
Which One Is Right for Me?
Before you make your decision, there are a few factors to think about:
Location of the filling. Composite fillings are a better choice for visible teeth, as they blend in with the natural tooth colour. Amalgam fillings are a better choice for back teeth, where they are less noticeable.
Size of the filling. Composite fillings are a good choice for small to medium-sized cavities, while amalgam fillings are better for larger cavities. The cost may also be a consideration, as composite fillings are generally more expensive than amalgam fillings.
Are they durable enough? While composite fillings are expected to last up to 10 years, amalgam fillings are more durable than composite. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth, composite fillings may not be durable enough for you.
Ultimately, the decision about which type of filling to choose should be made in consultation with your dentist. They can help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option and make an informed decision.
How Ollie & Darsh Can Help
At Ollie & Darsh, when deciding are composite fillings better than amalgam ultimately comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances – but we have the experience to guide you in the right direction.
While amalgam fillings have been used for decades and are often less expensive, composite fillings offer a more aesthetically pleasing result and can help preserve the natural structure of your teeth.
Both types of fillings have a high success rate and can effectively restore your tooth’s function and appearance. But if you’re concerned about the potential risks of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings or are looking for a more natural-looking option, composite fillings may be the better choice for you.
Ollie & Darsh has longstanding expertise in composite fillings, and we’re dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality dental care possible. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to helping you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.
If you need a dental filling or you’d just like to learn more about your options, visit our website, get in touch via our contacts page, or schedule a consultation with one of our skilled dentists. We’ll work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your unique needs and help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.