Tooth Restorations

Dentistry dedicated to excellence.

Dental Amalgam

Dental filling with strength and durability

Tooth restoration is important in preserving the teeth you already have.

Dental Amalgam is a commonly used dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has many advantages over other restorative material, such as low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.

Amalgam is used in dentistry for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement; it remains soft for a short time so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume, and then forms a hard compound. Amalgam possesses greater longevity than other direct restorative materials, such as composite. On average, most amalgam restorations serve for 10 to 12 years, whereas resin-based composites serve for about half that time. However, with recent improvements in composite material science and a better understanding of the technique-sensitivity of placement, it should be noted that this difference is decreasing.

There are circumstances in which composite (white fillings) serves better than amalgam; when amalgam is not indicated, or when a more conservative preparation would be beneficial, composite is the recommended restorative material. These situations would include small occlusal restorations, in which amalgam would require the removal of a more sound tooth structure, as well as in “enamel sites beyond the height of contour.”

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings can be more effective for smaller cavities.

Composite fillings consist of synthetic resins that are tooth colored. This type of filling provides a consistent durability and resistance to smaller sized cavities.  Composites also have the strength to withstand moderate pressure from the stress of the patient chewing. This style filling can also be placed on teeth in the front and the back of the mouth. Composites are a great choice for patients who prefer their fillings have more natural look than their amalgam counterparts. Composite fillings take longer to place due to the cavity area needing to be kept clean and dry while it is being filled.

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West Side Dental Works is dedicated to providing top class dental care to all of its patients