What are Dental Amalgams?:
Dental amalgam was used years ago to repair a tooth that had decay. Dental amalgams are a combination of metals such as silver, tin and copper and mercury. It was used many years before because it was durable. Amalgam is no longer used because of the following reasons:
- Colour: dental amalgam has a silver color which can be unappealing in your smile. Silver and tin can also sometimes seep in to the tooth enamel, creating a discoloration.
- Cracking of teeth: dental amalgam grows and contracts faster than normal tooth material. These breaks can stretch out through the nerve of a tooth or can reach out under the gum line, both of which can be hard to repair and can make it impossible to save the tooth.
- Some people are worried about the mercury in dental amalgam and the effect this can have of an individual’s health.
- Modern materials have eliminated the need for amalgam fillings, and are superior in almost every way. These materials are resilient, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing.
How Can I Replace my Amalgam Fillings?
Choosing to replace your amalgam fillings is a decision to be made carefully with the input of your dentist, and not to be taken lightly. There are various possible complications that will need to be considered when making this decision, and consideration will need to be given to which material is best for your particular case. There are two principle choices:
- Composite Resin Fillings
A resin filling is a tooth-shaped plastic and glass mixture used to restore damaged and decayed teeth. Composites are also used to enhance the cosmetic appeal of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping irregular teeth. The advantage of this method is that less drilling is required than with amalgam fillings.
- Porcelain Fillings
For teeth with large depressions in areas where the teeth experience significant wear the best choice is porcelain. Like resin fillings, they are tinted to match your existing tooth colour, and thus are very difficult to notice. Porcelain is the strongest, most dependable filling material available currently.