A filling is one method to restore a tooth which has been damaged by decay. The objective of the filling is to remove the damaged part and replace it with an artificial material, to strengthen the tooth and prevent further decay.
- The decayed part of the tooth is removed.
- The cavity is cleaned.
- The cavity is filled with a filling material to restore the tooth shape.
- The filling is polished to ensure a smooth finish which doesn’t interfere with your bite.
Amalgam fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. They are made of an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc. The dark color of these fillings makes them very noticeable and they do not blend in well with your natural teeth.
- They are the cheapest type of filling, and have a long track record with traditional dentistry.
- Amalgam fillings are strong and can withstand the chewing forces.
- They can be completed in a single dental visit.
- Amalgam has a dark silver appearance and doesn’t match with your natural tooth color.
- Amalgam fillings can corrode over time and cause discoloration where the filling connects to the tooth.
- Amalgam does not bond well to the tooth and may require an excessive amount of your natural tooth material to be removed to allow for a strong filling.
- The mercury in the amalgam material may have long term health concerns.
Modern material science has created a number of fantastic composite materials which can be used to repair teeth. Material choice can depend on:
- Cosmetic preference.
- Location of Filling.
- Size of filling.
- Allergies to certain materials.
For natural looking fillings, a composite resin (white) filling is generally the best choice.