Dental fillings have changed considerably over the past few decades. In the past, dental fillings were primarily metal based (amalgam). Dental practitioners used silver, gold, zinc, copper and mercury to create amalgam fillings. As time progressed, manufacturers and dentists begin to reduce and replace amalgam fillings with composite fillings. While amalgam fillings still have some usefulness, many patients are opting for composite fillings.
Placing amalgam and composite fillings requires different strategies. Dr. Vazira understands the nuances of both filling procedures. She passes these insights to her patients to help them make sound decisions about the type of filling that is suitable.
Pros of Composite Fillings
One of the claims to fame about composite filling is their white color. This alone makes them a very attractive option for patients wishing to maintain or restore a beautiful smile. The composite is comprised of acrylic and ceramic which contributes it mimicking natural tooth-color.
Another concern that is reaching growing heights is the health anxieties associated with amalgam fillings. While some information is accurate, other descriptions are stretches of accepted science (or outright fear-mongering). Objectively speaking, composite fillings are a safer health option.
Additionally, on the dental side of things, there is less tooth preparation required for composite fillings. This enables the patients to retain the most natural tooth structure.
Cons of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings, while strikingly appealing, are significantly more expensive than amalgam fillings. They are also not as resilient than amalgam fillings. For these reasons, some insurance policies do not cover amalgam fillings placed on molars (back teeth). As a rule of thumb, composite fillings last between 7 to 10 years before requiring touchups or replacements.
Should You Choose Amalgam or Composite Fillings?
The placement, dental situation, costs, and lifestyle of the patient all play a role in the decision to choose amalgam or composite fillings. Dr. Vazira always keeps the desires of the patient at the forefront, while providing advice that is congruent with her nearly two decades of professional experience.