How to Choose Between Composite Fillings and Dental Amalgam Fillings

Feb 01, 2023

Dental fillings are used during restorative dentistry in Portland, OR, to repair teeth. They replace the decayed part restoring the tooth’s structure, strength, and aesthetics. There are various types of dental fillings, and you may have difficulties choosing the right one. Read on to learn how to choose composite and dental amalgam fillings.

What are Composite and Amalgam Fillings?

Composite and amalgam fillings can restore a tooth, helping it look beautiful and function properly. However, each has different characteristics, pros, and cons. Learn about them to choose suitably when you need to get a filling.

  1. Composite fillings

These are dental fillings made of ceramic and plastic compounds. They can be customized to resemble the color of surrounding teeth. Therefore, they give a seamless appearance helping you to smile or laugh confidently.

The material blends in with the tooth making it unnoticeable when you smile. This feature makes them ideal for restoring cosmetic flaws on front teeth. Dentists also use these fillings for repairing cavities in back teeth.

However, composite fillings are not as long-lasting as amalgam fillings and are prone to chipping or breaking. They can last an average of seven years with proper care and maintenance. In addition, they are more costly compared to amalgam fillings. During placement, the dentist may take longer than when fixing amalgam fillings.

  1. Amalgam Fillings

They are silver-colored fillings made of metals such as copper, mercury, tin, and silver. The dentist in Portland uses amalgam fillings for large cavities on the back teeth. It is because they are sturdy and can withstand chewing forces. Amalgam fillings are durable and can last for decades with proper care. In addition, they are less expensive than resin fillings.

However, amalgam fillings are not aesthetically pleasing. Most people do not like having them placed on the front teeth due to their metallic color. In addition, a large part of the tooth structure is removed during the filling procedure. Also, they have trace amounts of mercury which most people are anxious about. Fortunately, mercury levels are deemed safe by the ADA.

Choosing Between Composite and Amalgam Filings

When choosing between these two fillings, you must consider various factors. For instance, you must check the location of the tooth. Front teeth are visible when you smile and need a material that will not be easily noticed. Therefore, the dentist will recommend composite fillings to repair them.

In addition, front teeth do not have chewing pressure like back teeth. Therefore, they can be restored with composite fillings. However, when repairing back teeth, the dentist will prefer amalgam fillings. It is because they are strong and can withstand chewing forces well.

Patients who want durable restorations must choose amalgam fillings, which can last for decades. If you want to save money or are on a tight budget, amalgam fillings are the best. However, composite fillings are your ideal restorations if you are allergic to metal.

You must also consider the patient requiring restorative dentistry in Portland, OR. Kids or adults with special needs are impatient and need a straightforward procedure. Therefore, the dentist will recommend amalgam fillings for them. This is because they are easier and faster to place than composite fillings.

Another factor the dentist in Portland will consider is the damage to your teeth. Minor to moderate flaws can be easily fixed with composite fillings due to their versatility. However, large cavities will require amalgam fillings as they are suitable for that job.

Choose composite fillings if you want your tooth structure preserved during a filling procedure. It is because the dentist will file away a small part of the tooth before placement. However, when placing amalgam fillings, the dentist must remove a large part of the tooth structure for proper placement.

Some patients are concerned about the mercury in amalgam fillings. Others are anxious about the BPA in composite fillings. However, the ADA has approved both types of dental restorations. Therefore, you can choose either type since they are safe and do not pose any risks to your health.

Are you searching for a dental office that offers various dental fillings? Then contact us at Laurelhurst Dentistry. We will evaluate your teeth and smile to provide the most suitable dental filling.

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