Nobody wants to be told they have a cavity, but when this occurs we can be left with the issue of which form of filling to use when we fill a hole in an individual tooth. The resulting issue means we must make a choice between a composite or amalgam filling material that will allow us the opportunity to make a decision between two extremely effective, but also extremely different forms of filling materials. A dental professional may well guide you through this decision making process as the hole in the tooth that is to be filled may be too small for the use of amalgam filling materials and require a composite to be used instead.
Composite Vs Amalgam Materials
The materials used in composite and amalgam materials are very different. This is largely because the two different forms of fillings were developed over half a century apart; amalgam fillings were first developed around a century ago, while composite fillings have only been in popular use for around 40 years.
The composite filling has been developed to have a tooth colored appearance developed through the use of plastic resin materials that use blue light to harden them when they have been placed in the hole being filled and shaped correctly. A composite material has a wide range of benefits that makes them a popular option for a range of filling sizes that can be found in many different shades and colors to achieve a positive match to the existing color of the teeth. The adaptability of composite filling materials is also a positive as this allows soft resin to be shaped and molded in a number of ways to make them one of the easiest to use for dental professionals, and most effective for patients who want a positive impact from their fillings.
In contrast, amalgam fillings are created from a range of materials, including tin, copper, and safe mercury that are combined to create a hard material that can only be used on a cavity that is of large enough size to allow a bond to be formed between tooth and amalgam filling material.
Different Options Require Different Care
The use of amalgam or composite materials for the fillings is a part of the creation of fillings that makes this an aspect of oral healthcare that should always be discussed with a dental professional. Achieving a smile free from discoloration is made possible in the simplest way with the use of a composite material, but these do wear down faster than their amalgam counterparts that can offer a lifespan of up to 10 years more when cared for correctly. Although they do not offer as long of a lifespan, the use of composite fillings can be a good choice for those who care for their teeth with excellent oral healthcare. Amalgam fillings can often be a better choice for those who are not as concerned by their personal oral healthcare options.
If you would like more information about dental filling options, please contact the office of Dr. Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. in San Marcos, TX.