When you need a dental filling for a cavity, there is no one type that is best for everyone in every situation. At Amesbury Family Dental, we’re pleased to offer you options to meet your individual needs. Our Merrimac local dentist is committed to helping you avoid the effects of tooth decay and the cavities that it produces, but it’s comforting to know that when you do need to address one, it can be done simply, quickly, and effectively, with choices that even promote your optimal cosmetic appearance.
Amalgam fillings are made of metals, like silver for example. They are very strong and durable, lasting typically 10 to 15 years. They are most often used to fill cavities in back teeth. First, because those teeth take the majority of the force that comes from chewing. And also, unlike front teeth, it is not an issue that amalgam fillings don’t blend in with your tooth color. They are generally less expensive than other filling materials, though they do tend to require more drilling by our Merrimac local dentist and the loss of more tooth material in order to accommodate them. Because metal does expand and contract, it’s important to understand that amalgam fillings are more likely to cause tooth fractures.
In contrast to amalgams, composite fillings (sometimes called composite resins) do match your tooth color, and are a great selection for front teeth. Composite fillings also bond better to your teeth, so there is less drilling and you will retain more of your natural tooth material in the process. Less drilling by our Merrimac local dentist is often a very welcome aspect for those who are uncomfortable with the sound of the drill or the very idea of drilling. What are the drawbacks for composite fillings? They don’t last as long, usually only about 5 years. They are also more expensive than amalgam. You would usually not want composite for back teeth, either.
So, which one is right for you? This will depend on various factors, including the location of the tooth in your mouth, your budget, and how long you want the filling to last. Our Merrimac local dentist will discuss the pros and cons of each with you, helping you to determine the proper option when you need a filling.