Dental Fillings – Composite and Amalgam
Composite fillings are made from materials matching the color of your teeth whereas amalgam fillings are made from metal.
Even though composite fillings are a more advanced version of traditional fillings such as dental amalgam, sometimes, traditional fillings triumph over its successor.
What’s the Difference? Between Silver Amalgam and Composite Resin
Traditionally, silver amalgam was the filling material of choice for caries. It wasn’t until the 1960s that resin compounds began to be used by dentists as an alternative for fillings and fissures. Today, patients have a choice about which filling material should be used. Here’s a comparison of the main factors which should help inform your decision.
One of the biggest drawbacks of silver amalgam fillings is their appearance. They are extremely simple to formulate and use, but are darker in color. The amalgam mixture has also been known to stain teeth over the course of several years.
Dental technology has evolved over time and provided another option. One of the unique benefits of composite resin a tint can be added, while the material is mixed. The dentist can match the color of the tooth being filled or fixed. The filling doesn’t stand out. After the resin hardens, the material blends in with your smile even in highly visible spots. The final result is virtually invisible.
Both materials are incredibly long-lasting. Composite resin fillings can last upwards of 10 years, and even longer with proper oral care. Silver amalgam fillings are also extremely durable. We have seen cases in which they have lasted over 20 years.
To extend the life of your filling, it’s important to be seen by your dentist every year and report any health problems as soon as they occur. Hygiene and taking proper care of your teeth is also crucial. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. Additionally, you can help reduce the growth of bacteria by using an appropriate mouthwash.
The procedure for placing and curing the silver filling and resin are very similar. The biggest difference is that composite resin will harden much faster than dental amalgam. This usually results in being able to return to eating your favorite food faster!
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