Dental fillings are special dental materials primarily used to repair minor damage to a tooth due to decay or cavities. They also have the ability to provide a weakened tooth with increased durability.
Types of Fillings
Composite—or tooth-colored—fillings contain a mixture of plastic resin and glass and are a popular option for fillings due to their ability to match your natural tooth color. While in the past, composite fillings have been considered weaker than their amalgam counterparts, technological advancements have allowed them to be more durable, especially in small and mid-size fillings.
Amalgam (also known as silver filling) is a material that contains a mixture of different metals such as silver, copper, and tin. This unique filling has a history of also containing mercury, and while this has raised safety concerns in patients and doctors, extensive studies have revealed that the minimal mercury level in silver fillings does not cause adverse health effects. Amalgam fillings are still a safe, cost effective, and durable choice of filling when it comes to tooth restoration.
Benefits of Fillings
- Can reduce the damage caused by trauma, cavities, or decay
- Prevents decay from further spreading to the affected tooth’s roots or other teeth
- Improves the appearance and strength of a tooth that has been weakened by decay