Composite (tooth-colored) fillings are designed to match the color of your teeth and are less noticeable than traditional amalgam fillings. Composite fillings offer the cosmetic benefit of a more natural look as well as the practical benefit of cavity repair. People often prefer the natural look attained by composite fillings over traditional silver or metal fillings.
Composite fillings have numerous other benefits beyond their cosmetic appeal. Sudden hot and cold temperature changes can cause sensitivity and pain; Composite fillings have thermal protective properties that shield from temperature swings. In addition to filling cavities, composite resin material can repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
At Zelmanow Dental, Drs. Phil and Samantha Zelmanow will expertly match your composite filling to your regular teeth, giving you a more natural outcome.
Amalgam fillings have been commonly used in dental fillings for over 150 years. Amalgam is a mixture of mercury with silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. Although the mercury content of amalgam has raised the concern of safety, the combining with other metals renders it stable and safe for use in dental fillings. Advantages of amalgam as a restorative dental material include: low cost, strength & durability, bacteriostatic effects.
What are the disadvantages?
- During the preparation of the tooth for an amalgam filling, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure than with other types of fillings.
- There many be some initial sensitivity to hot or cold for a short period of time following filling placement.
- The silver color of the material does not appear as natural as composite resin. This is especially more noticeable on teeth in the front of the mouth.
The bottom line: The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both composite and amalgam materials are considered safe and effective for dental restorations.