restore & replace
(a.k.a. white fillings, tooth colored fillings)
(a.k.a. silver fillings, mercury fillings)
Perhaps the most natural looking way to repair a tooth is through a composite filling. Composites can be in a wide range of tooth colors allowing near invisible restoration of teeth. The attachment to the tooth is through a bonded process which allows for the repair of small fractures and chips in teeth.
Amalgam fillings are often known as “silver fillings.” Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50% of the compound, binds the metals together to provide a strong, durable filling. When combined with the other metals, the mercury in fillings forms a safe, stable compound. This type of filling has been around since 1895.
the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth
darker, silver color once applied to teeth, making them instantly noticeable
can often times stain the dentin and cause a greying of the teeth
composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings (lasting at least five years compared with at least 10 to 15 for amalgams); in addition, they may not last as long as amalgam fillings under the pressure of chewing and particularly if used for large cavities
amalgam fillings are typically recommended when excessive forces are a factor, as it is in bruxism or temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling
composites chemically bond to the tooth and allows for a more conservative preparation design'
typically the procedure time is greater as composites are technique sensitive and have several more steps for their application to teeth
amalgams are mechanically retained by the tooth preparation therefore additional tooth structure is removed during the preparation for an amalgam filling beyond that of the decayed structures