Amalgam vs Composite Materials

Amalgam vs Composite

When seeking restorations, patients have several options for materials. These include tooth-colored resin and traditional metal amalgam. With several choices for restorations, patients have the option for an aesthetically pleasing treatment. But which one is better for you?

Dental Amalgam

Also known as silver fillings, this mixture of metal alloys comprises mercury, silver, tin, and copper. These materials have been known to provide a strong, durable filling that can withstand extreme forces from chewing and are ideal for molars in the back of the mouth. Amalgam is a traditional material used to fill cavities, but can be outdated.

However, since mercury is the main component of silver fillings, there is a safety concern as the restoration ages with the smile. The amount of mercury released in the smile due to constant wear and tear may be cause for concern. However, the ADA and the states that dental amalgam is safe for most patients. Patients with metal allergies may want to avoid silver fillings as well.

Composite Resin Fillings

Also known as tooth-colored fillings, these resin composites are made of a variety of ceramic and plastic compounds. Known to be more aesthetically pleasing, the resin mimics the appearance of natural teeth and can be used to treat cavities at the front of the tooth.

Advancements in technology allow the development of durable resin material that can withstand chewing forces as well. These restorations last upwards to 15 years if treated with proper care.

The resin may cost a little more than amalgam, but the aesthetic and health benefits trump metal-based restoration. Treatments with the composite resin not only look natural but easily blend with the smile, cause most patients to even forget they received a restoration.

Amalgam is a reliable, lasting choice compared to composite resin. However, most dentists recommend composite resin to almost all patients, especially if they have any smaller cavities in the front teeth the require filling. Consider tooth-colored materials as a reliable choice to restore dentition and maintain the smile’s natural beauty.

For more information about dental fillings and the aesthetic materials offered at our practice, call us today to schedule a visit. 

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