Metal or amalgam fillings have been used for generations to fill cavities and prevent further decay, avoiding costlier procedures if otherwise left untreated. Some patients have become concerned about metal use in dentistry, so there are other options that provide extra benefits above standard metal fillings.
While amalgam fillings provide strength and are less expensive, they are not as attractive as a tooth-colored restoration. Contracting or expanding over time with temperature fluctuations, amalgam fillings have the potential for eventual cracking of the remaining tooth structure, or even falling out, leaving the tooth vulnerable and sensitive. Metal fillings can also discolor the tooth, showing their gray color through the remaining enamel wall.
Strong, esthetically pleasing alternatives include white composite or porcelain fillings. Porcelain fillings do not expand, contract, become loose or fall out. They require only a very small amount of natural tooth structure to be removed (where decayed), provide strength where maximum chewing pressure is applied, and are custom matched to your natural teeth. No one else will know they are there.
White composite fillings are also matched to your tooth color, and work well for small to medium sized cavity areas that are not subject to the highest pressures. They are safe, long-wearing, and the patient does not have to wait to chew or avoid the area after placement because they are immediately hardened.
Ask our staff if you have questions about these options and the cost effective way to preserve your smile.