Welcome to Stone Lodge Dental in McKinney, Texas, the dental office of Dr. Ernesto Prida and his talented team. The most common dental fillings used in today’s fillings are amalgam and composite resin fillings, and both have their advantages and disadvantages, so we are going to look at a few just for these two types of fillings.
Amalgam fillings are also known as silver or mercury fillings, and are comprised of silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. These fillings are stronger than composite fillings, which makes them perfect for the teeth in the back (the molars) supporting the pressures of chewing. They also wear down less quickly than their composite counterparts.
Amalgam fillings contain a small amount of mercury in them, which is toxic, but in such small amounts that it is still less than what you would ingest if you ate an ocean fish. Unless you have a mercury allergy, this small amount of mercury contained in the filling is safe.
Because the amalgam filling doesn’t bond to your tooth like a composite filling does, your dentist needs to make the filling wider at the bottom, which means cutting part of the tooth’s healthy structure, something that isn’t necessary with composite filings. Amalgam fillings cost less than composite fillings, and they last longer on larger areas.
One of the most popular reasons patients choose composite fillings (or white fillings) are because they blend in with your natural tooth, making your smile look completely natural. They are perfect for small to mid-size cavities and today are strong enough to be used on the back teeth as well as the front.
With a composite filling, your dentist doesn’t need to cut away healthy tooth structure because the composite resin bonds to the tooth. Composite fillings do shrink a tiny bit when they harden which might allow bacteria to enter, making them technique sensitive. Your dentist must make sure no moisture is present when placing the filling. Composite fillings last 7-10 years, which is about the same for silver fillings, unless it is a large filling which might crack or chip.
At Stone Lodge Dental, we are pleased to offer our patients dental fillings of your choice for your healthy smile. If it is time for your next dental checkup or if you are experiencing problems with a filling, you can reach our dedicated team in McKinney, Texas, by calling 214-613-1500 today.