Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
Lake Oswego, OR
At Nicholas Dose, DMD, we do our utmost to guarantee that you receive the dental care and maintenance you need to counteract problems such as tooth gaps, infected teeth, and more. Cavities, or holes in your teeth, are a particularly common problem that we see among our patients, and sometimes they can slip through even the most diligent dental hygiene routine. We help to treat cavities by closing the affected area with a dental filling.
How Does The Dental Filling Procedure Work?
Our goal with a dental filling is to help a tooth damaged by decay return to its normal shape and function. When you come in for this treatment, we will first remove the part of the tooth that has decayed and created the cavity. We then proceed to thoroughly clean the affected area so that we can fill the cleaned out opening with your chosen dental filling material. It is time that we do this because leaving the cleaned out area open can create a space for bacteria to enter the tooth once again.
But before we treat your cavity, we should determine what type of dental filling you want. Amalgam filling has been the traditional choice for over a century, featuring a mixture of metals ranging from mercury to zinc, copper, silver, and tin. Because they have been such a staple of the dental world for so long, they are the cheapest option available and are known to be both strong and long-lasting. However, they can be an unattractive option for patients concerned about aesthetics. Their silver color is quite noticeable, and they can become darker over time.
While amalgam fillings have much to recommend them, composite tooth fillings make for a great alternative. These dental fillings are usually made of acrylic resin and powdered glass that can be easily shaded to match the color of your other neighboring teeth. Though that can make this option more aesthetically pleasing, there is a drawback when it comes to durability. The life of a composite filling is less than most other options. Because of these factors, we tend to recommend this option for minor fillings and for teeth that do not experience too much pressure when chewing.
Should I Choose Amalgam Or Composite?
If an unbroken and even smile is highly important to you, then the choice of dental filling is obvious. Though composite fillings can be more expensive and require more care, with proper shading, it can be almost impossible to tell that your tooth was once restored. While we note that amalgam fillings last longer, composite fillings last for more than five years, which is still a substantial time period. But if the results are more important to you, then amalgam fillings become the best option. Amalgam is cheaper, stronger, and highly resistant to wear. So long as you can dismiss the unusual silver coloration, amalgam has much to recommend it, and we stand behind its efficacy.
Are you interested in learning about composite or amalgam dental fillings? Give us a call at (503) 765-7300. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!