For many years the standard for repairing dental decay required drilling the tooth to remove the decay then filling the opening with dental amalgam. In more recent years patients have been able to make a choice in the solution to repair a dental cavity thanks to the creation of composite resin. Your dentist can provide the information required to make the best decision for your dental repair.
Composite resin is made from a plastic material. When a cavity is diagnosed, using the composite material requires much less of the natural tooth to be removed to complete the filling. This means the tooth retains much more of its integrity.
Dental amalgam has a couple of drawbacks that have made its use much more limited in recent years. The primary concern for many dental providers, as well as patients, is the mercury content with amalgam. The American Dental Association has declared use of amalgam as perfectly safe.
In addition to mercury fears, the appearance of a cavity repaired with amalgam is not very attractive. The amalgam filling starts out silver, but over years turns a dark gray. The positive aspect of this decay repair is the strength and longevity of a tooth filled with amalgam. Many of these fillings will last for decades.
When using composite resin, the decay is removed. The tooth-colored material is placed in layers with each application being cured before the next layer is placed. After the tooth is filled, the dentist will trim and polish the filling making the repair virtually undetectable as it will be a perfect match in contour and shade to neighboring teeth.
Due to the process employed in placing composite resin, the concern for shrinkage of the filling is diminished hopefully limiting sensitivity.
The primary differences with these two types of fillings centers around aesthetics and investment.
Dental amalgam fillings are the more economic choice. However, their silver finish versus the composite resin repair may make the savings seem insignificant.
Composite resin fillings are great, and this filling material solves more dental problems than just dental decay. A chipped tooth can appear whole again. And intrinsic stain resulting from medication, advanced age, illness … any spots, streaks, or marks can successfully be covered making them disappear in one dental visit.
A more natural appearance is made available with tooth-colored filling material. Call our dental office at 281-256-6866 to learn more about your options today.