To repair cavities caused by tooth decay, dentists use dental amalgam. In dental amalgam, a powdered silver, tin, and copper alloy is combined with liquid (elemental) mercury to create a hybrid metal. In dental amalgam, elemental mercury comprises around 50% of the total weight. Because of its silvery appearance, dental amalgam fillings are often referred to as silver fillings. However, this phrase should not be used because it does not accurately describe the ingredients in amalgam.
When putting dental amalgam, the dentist first removes the decay from the tooth and then molds the tooth cavity for the amalgam filling. The powdered alloy is then combined with the liquid mercury by the dentist under strict safety circumstances to create an amalgam putty. After placing and shaping the softened amalgam putty into the prepared cavity, it hardens into a firm filler within minutes.
What's better composite or amalgam fillings?
Both amalgam and composite fillings have their advantages and disadvantages. We go through both to assist you in better comprehending what we're talking about. "You've got a cavity," the doctor said. It's hardly something we look forward to hearing from the dentist. Dental innovations have made it possible to examine a variety of treatments for repairing a tooth. Most dental clinics now provide composite resin fillings as an alternative to conventional silver amalgam fillings.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using both types of materials. The more you know ahead of time, the more equipped you are to make an informed choice when it comes time for a dental filling. The chances of needing a dental filling at some time in your life are relatively high, even though it is possible to go through life without acquiring a cavity. As many as 90 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 are thought to have at least one cavity, with that percentage rising to 96 percent for those over the age of 65.
Benefits of Amalgam
*It is less prone to break than other fillings since they are more durable
*Patients with a high risk of dental decay may benefit from this material, as can those with significant tooth preparations, or in situations where moisture prevents other materials, such as resins, from bonding to the tooth
*This is the least costly kind of filler material available
*For more than 150 years, it has been used in hundreds of millions of patients throughout the globe
Drawbacks of Amalgam
Amalgam fillings have a poor image owing to the mercury in the material used, this is seen as a drawback. It's easier to see silver fillings if you're laughing or smiling open-mouthed. As a result, amalgam fillings darken the whole tooth, making it seem gray and dull. This affects the overall aspect of a smile, making it less attractive. As a heavy metal, mercury might cause an allergic reaction in certain persons.
Composite Resin Fillings: Pros and Cons
It is possible to match the color of your composite fillings to the color of your natural tooth enamel by using a mix of acrylic and ceramic. A composite resin repair is an attractive option. Because it involves minimal enamel removal and dental preparation, your natural tooth anatomy is preserved to the greatest extent feasible.
The drawbacks of composite fillings are their high initial cost and short-term effectiveness. Compared to amalgam fillings, composite fillings have a lower price per filling. The cost of composite resin fillings is higher since they need more time for treatment. Because composite isn't as long-lasting as a metal alloy, the average lifespan of a product is seven to ten years.
Is it safe to have amalgam fillings removed?
If they are not damaged, removing your amalgam fillings may actually cause much more damage to your tooth and expose you to significantly more mercury. These fillings are best left alone if your amalgam fillings are intact and there is no decay present.
When to replace amalgam fillings
Cavities may still form even if you brush twice a day and get regular dental cleanings. It's likely that amalgam fillings are in your mouth if you're between the ages of 25 and 45. Large cavities in the rear teeth are often filled with dental amalgam, a metal. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that amalgam fillings should be removed, there are a few advantages to switching to composite-based fillings.
Your Filling is Loose
It's conceivable that your fillings will come loose if you've had them for an extended period. Bacteria may enter your teeth in this situation and lead to an illness. If you see that your filling is coming loose, make an appointment with your dentist right away so that they can replace it. For composite fillings, keep in mind they really stick to teeth, making them stronger and less prone to breakage. Tooth sensitivity, which is common in patients with older amalgam fillings, may be lessened with composite fillings.
Potential Allergy Reactions
Amalgam may not be suitable for those with sensitivities or allergies. It may be preferable to switch to composite-based fillings in favor of amalgams, which are composed of a mercury silver tin amalgam. Discuss filling options with your dental professional.
If your amalgam fillings are causing you embarrassment when you smile, you have the option of having them removed and replaced. Invisible to the naked eye, composite fillings aren't evident when you laugh or smile.
Fillings made of amalgam and composite materials are both long-term options. Amalgam fillings may last between 10 and 15 years, whereas composite fillings can last between 5 and 10 years. To be clear, this does not imply that amalgam fillings are preferable to composites.
Finally, it's all a question of personal taste and the size and depth of the cavity at hand.