For a long time, amalgam fillings have been the most effective way to fill cavities. Amalgam fillings are the most durable and long-lasting type of filling available. But amalgam fillings aren’t always the best approach to filling teeth, especially if those teeth are visible when you smile.
If you need to have your cavities filled, composite fillings are an excellent alternative to amalgam fillings for various reasons.
Conserve More Tooth Structure
Composite fillings bond to the natural tooth structure more easily and seamlessly than amalgam fillings do. Because of this, dentists don’t need to remove very much tooth structure to place them. In contrast, amalgam fillings need more space, which requires the dentist to remove more tooth structure. If you want to conserve your tooth structure, then choose composite fillings.
This is an important benefit in regard to replacing fillings. Each time a dentist replaces an amalgam filling, they drill away additional tooth structure to make room for the new filling. Eventually, there might not be enough tooth structure left to support a new amalgam filling. You might then need a dental crown instead.
Although composite fillings don’t last as long as amalgam fillings do, they are easier to replace than amalgam fillings.
Require Less Drilling
To remove tooth structure requires the use of a drill. Understandably, some people might be uncomfortable with a drill in their mouth for an extended length of time. Since composite fillings only require the removal of a small amount of tooth structure with a drill, they are a better option for patients who are uncomfortable with the sound and sensation of dental drills.
Blend in With Natural Teeth
One of the best attributes of composite fillings is that they can blend in seamlessly with natural tooth structure. This is true in terms of both shape and shade. Once a dentist has applied the composite resin to a cavity, they can mold it into the shape of the missing tooth structure. In the hands of a skilled dentist, a composite filling will resemble the tooth it fills in every way.
And before placing a composite filling, dentists select an appropriate shade — one that matches the shade of the tooth. As a result, the filling is difficult to detect. Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, are easily noticeable.
Are Less Prone to Sensitivity
One problem that occurs with amalgam or metal fillings is tooth sensitivity. Metal fillings transmit hot and cold temperatures more easily than composite fillings do. And because of this, they might sometimes cause discomfort when a patient drinks hot or cold drinks or breathes in cold air.
While composite fillings might still cause some sensitivity, they aren’t as sensitive to temperatures as amalgam fillings are. This makes composite fillings a great choice for patients who suffer from sensitive teeth.
Don’t Contain Any Metal
Although amalgam fillings are safe, some patients might experience slight allergic reactions to them, such as skin rashes. If you have an allergy to nickel, for instance, then you may experience some discomfort if you opt for metal fillings. And if the thought of metal fillings doesn’t appeal to you for aesthetic and health reasons, then composite fillings are a better option because they comprise of plastic and ceramic and won’t trigger allergic reactions.
Composite fillings are a great alternative to amalgam fillings. If you have cavities, then consider opting for composite fillings instead of amalgam fillings although it is worth noting that Most insurance companies benefit a composite filling at the amalgam filling cost unless the composite filling is being placed on upper/lower front teeth. At the Apollo Dental Center, we offer both composite and amalgam fillings. Call us today to book an appointment, and we will help you decide if composite fillings are the right option for you.