Most Duluth GA dentists offer you a choice when it comes to what type of material to use for your dental fillings. You can choose silver colored amalgam fillings or tooth colored composite fillings. Amalgam has been the filling material of choice for decades, but composite fillings may be a better choice in many situations
The first consideration is cost. It takes less time and skill to prepare a tooth for an amalgam filling. In addition, the amalgam material is less expensive than composite resin materials. As a result, amalgam fillings are less expensive than composite fillings.
Amalgam is also considered a little more durable than composites. Replacement time can vary widely, but amalgam fillings average around 15 years while composites may need to be replaced after about 10 years. As composite materials improve, we can expect this gap to get smaller.
If cost and durability were the only factors, amalgam would be the clear choice. However, composite fillings have some important advantages. The most obvious advantage is aesthetics. Composite fillings are tooth colored and do not detract from the appearance of your smile like amalgam.
Another advantage of composite fillings is that they add support and strength to the tooth because filling material is chemically bonded to the tooth. Amalgam is pressed into the cavity and held in place using friction and pressure. In addition, less of the healthy tooth has to be removed to place a composite filling. There is less drilling necessary and more of the healthy tooth is preserved.
Preservation of the natural tooth becomes particularly important when the filling needs to be replaced years later. Since there is more health tooth left, it is more likely that the filling can be replaced with another filling instead of needing a cap or crown.
The choice is yours, but unless there is a compelling need to place an amalgam filling, composite fillings are better for your teeth and better looking too!
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