A dental restoration, better known as a dental filling or just “filling,” is typically used when a patient has a cavity in their tooth, or a “carie”. Dental restorative materials are used to fill in the decayed area of the tooth in order to restore the function, integrity and morphology of the missing tooth structure. Tooth structural loss may be the result of caries or external trauma. Dental restorations can be created using the following materials:
Dental Amalgam was a commonly used restoration material for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. It is relatively easy to manipulate during placement and once fully set, it forms a hard compound, which can sustain a high degree of pressure during chewing. Amalgam’s resiliency is why it has been a restorative material of choice for many years. Due to its mercury content and the fact that amalgam does not match the colour of teeth, more dental professionals are choosing to switch from using amalgam and are now using composite resin-based restorative materials. We can switch your silver-coloured fillings for natural looking composite resin restorations which is a two-appointment process.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.
Dental composites produce a natural-coloured restoration which blends nicely with the existing tooth, because of this, dental composites are sometimes called white fillings. The natural look that composite resin creates makes this material popular for fillings as well as the fabrication of crowns and in-lays. One of the drawbacks of using composite resin in fillings is they are not as strong as some other restorative materials and they are prone to staining like natural teeth.
Disadvantages of Amalgam Fillings
Although amalgam fillings may be less expensive, they have other disadvantages that go beyond cost. Over time, the colour of the amalgam silver can be seen through the tooth enamel. This gives your tooth a greyish black colour which is not aesthetically pleasing. Also, the edges of amalgam fillings can wear down, become weak or break. This breakdown of amalgam in the cavity, allows bacteria to become trapped between the amalgam and the tooth structure causing cavities to form once more. Because amalgam fillings contain 50 percent mercury, over time, they may corrode, leak, and even stain your teeth and gums.
Advantages of Composite Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-coloured composite restorations. Not only do they look natural, they form a tight bond with the surrounding tooth structure, minimizing food and bacteria from entering which could lead to dental caries, or cavities. When a substantial amount of the tooth structure is lost, composite fillings are beneficial in restoring the strength and structure of the tooth.
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Restoration
Replacing amalgam fillings with composite is a common procedure performed at Cariboo Dental Clinic. We can switch your silver-coloured fillings for natural looking composite resin restorations which is a two-appointment process.
Call us now to book your appointment to have your amalgam filling replaced with a composite restoration.