Nowadays, if you need a tooth filling, you’ll have the option to choose between composite resin (white) and amalgam (silver) fillings. You might be wondering what the difference between these two variants is. Many modern dentists will advise you to go for a composite filling you get the chance. It’s a safer, stronger, and more stable option and will give you a much better smile.
Commonly called a ‘white’ filling, a composite filling is made from a tooth-coloured mixture of acrylic plastic and glass. It can restore decayed teeth or improve the cosmetic appearance of discoloured or disfigured teeth.
Once the tooth filling is prepared, the dentist places it into the teeth in layers. Usually, the dentist uses a specialized type of light to harden each layer as it’s put down.
When this process is finished, the dentist will then shape the composite to fit the tooth. The composite is then polished, preventing staining and premature wear and tear.
Composite fillings offer numerous advantages over traditional amalgam fillings. These include:
While creating your composite filling, the dentist can blend shades to make a final product nearly identical in colour to your actual tooth. This helps the tooth filling blend in seamlessly and offers far more aesthetically pleasing results. This is also why composite fillings are excellent for fixing discoloured or misshapen teeth.
Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of silver, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury. Modern dental research has cast doubts on the long-term safety of the mercury present in these fillings. Many people are also allergic to certain metals, which means that they can’t use amalgam fillings. In contrast, a composite filling is made from a combination of acrylic and glass and contains no toxic substances.
The materials in a composite resin tooth filling bond to the tooth tissue from the inside. This means that unlike an amalgam filling, which needs metal locks and undercuts to be held in place, composite fillings don’t need any additional mechanical retention. For this reason, more of the tooth can be left intact while this filling is fitted.
Composite fillings also retain their shape over time, wearing at a similar rate to the natural tooth. This creates a more durable, organic appearance.
When you eat or drink hot or cold food or drinks, the metals in amalgam fillings expand and contract. Over time, this can create tiny cracks between the tooth filling and the tooth, which can extend into larger issues down the line. If bacteria enter these spaces, they can also cause infection or decay.
In contrast, composite fillings are significantly less temperature-sensitive and thus more stable over time.
Are you thinking about replacing their own amalgam fillings? Do you have damaged, discoloured, or disfigured teeth you’d like treated? The team at Hamilton Family Dental can help put a perfect smile back on your face. Contact us at 07-9498492 or click here to book an appointment at our friendly clinic.