Good habits, along with regular dental visits, can help you keep a happy, healthy smile. But if you are faced with restoring a damaged or decayed tooth, you’ll have some choices, including the type of material used for your dental filling.
Know Your Tooth Fillings
There are two basic options: mercury amalgam, which has been used for more than 100-years, and the growing in popularity, tooth-colored, composite resin restorations, or filling. We are often asked which one is best, and there are a few general pros and cons associated with both types of fillings.
Safety: Some patients report a metal taste after the silver amalgam filling is placed on a tooth, though research hasn’t revealed any health risks of having mercury as a component of the filling. However, all wastewater needs special treatment with their disposal, including removing old restorations.
Porcelain composite fillings have a natural tooth-like appearance, and don’t contain mercury or any other metals that may contribute to sensitivity or toxicity. Further, they involve no environmental danger through their disposal.
Durability: Mercury amalgam fillings can end up weakening the tooth due to their expansion and contraction. Additionally, they stain the tooth, and make your teeth look black and discolored. Improvements in composite resins are allowing good durability, excellent natural looking teeth, and create a natural smile.
Cost: The expense of composite resin restorations may be slightly higher than mercury amalgam fillings. However, most patients value the improved esthetics, and willingly prefer composite resin restorations. Some dental insurance companies acknowledge the advantages or composite restorations, and provide full insurance for these restorations.
Learn more about the specific differences– especially the materials and procedures– so you can be better informed when it comes to choosing the options best for you. Sometimes, a lab fabricated restoration, or crown, is the appropriate restoration to preserve the health of your tooth and smile. Your dentist will also help determine the cost and time involved in any restorative treatment or filling for your teeth, so you can feel confident in your decision.