These are more commonly known as “silver fillings”. There is a lot of controversy surrounding these fillings due to the fact they contain mercury. The American Dental Association and various other organizations (FDA, CDC, WHO, and more) have come out and said that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. Even though amalgam is not an esthetically pleasing material it still has a place in modern dentistry.
There are a number of reasons your dentist might recommend an amalgam filling.
- Larger fillings in the back of the mouth where chewing force is a factor
- Hard to keep dry areas; amalgam hardens quickly
- Difficult to work on patients (children, mentally impaired); takes less time to place
- Financial reasons; amalgam fillings are generally less expensive
Composite Resin Restorations
These are your more mainstream fillings that are “tooth colored”. In a culture where people want bright white smiles these composite restorations are ideal to blend in with natural tooth structure. These kinds of fillings do take longer to place since the tooth has to remain completely dry throughout the entire placement procedure.
Main reasons for composite resin fillings.
- Look natural; especially for front teeth
- Universally used; can be used for front or back teeth
- Durable enough to last a long time, and look great
- Fracture resistant in small to medium fillings