Learn more about Dental Fillings
Dental fillings replace tooth structure that has been lost due to injury or decay. A dental filling preserves the integrity of the tooth and prevents further damage to the structure of the tooth. Depending on the location, remaining tooth structure, and size of the filling, the doctor will provide you information that will help you chose the best filling material for the restoration of your tooth.
Composite Filling A composite filling is a tooth-colored filling material that can be used to repair a tooth damaged by a chip, decay, or fracture. When placing a composite filling, the material will be closely matched to the natural tooth structure remaining. The filling can be placed in one appointment, where the doctor will remove any decay or unsound tooth structure, clean the tooth, and then place the tooth-colored material into the prepared tooth. The tooth will be restored to a beautiful and functional state. Because of prior limitations in strength, composite fillings were at one time limited to the front teeth (aesthetic zone). Due to remarkable advances in composite material(s) and agents that promote bonding to the tooth’s enamel, these restorations are now routinely placed in the back teeth (chewing areas), as well as the front teeth.
Amalgam Filling (Silver) An amalgam filling consists of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are very durable and often used in the back of the mouth where there are increased chewing forces and less desire for a tooth-colored filling. Often, patients are concerned with the mercury content in amalgam restorations.
The FDA states, FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. The amount of mercury measured in the bodies of people with dental amalgam fillings is well below levels associated with adverse health effects. Even in adults and children ages 6 and above who have fifteen or more amalgam surfaces, mercury exposure due to dental amalgam fillings has been found to be far below the lowest levels associated with harm. Clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have also found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems.
The doctors at Sandalwood Dental Care put the safety of their patients first and would be happy to discuss further concerns or other treatment options before placing an amalgam filling.