Fillings replace tooth structure that has has been lost to decay, fracture or wear. We can place tooth-colored restorations, known as composite resin, or silver restorations, also known as amalgam. We will help you decide on the best restorative material for you and your tooth.
Composite provides good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural and can be more conservative, saving more tooth structure.
Dental amalgam is made from a combination of metals that include silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time and is less expensive than other cavity-filling materials. Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings are often the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew. Amalgam hardens quickly so it is useful in areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement, such as below the gum line. It takes less time to place than tooth-colored fillings, so it is also an effective material for children and special needs people who may have a difficult time staying still during treatment. However, to prepare the tooth, we may need to remove more tooth structure to place an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.