The days of using silver amalgam as the material of choice for cavity fillings have drifted into the past for most dental professionals, replaced by safer and more visually pleasing composite resin cavity filling. That trend does not automatically mean old amalgam fillings should come out, however, and the professionals at RLJ Dental help their patients make the best decision at this choice point.
“There is a very small amount of mercury leakage that can occur when we remove amalgam cavity fillings,” explains Dr. Linh Tran, a dentist in RLJ Dental’s West Allis, Wisconsin, office. “For this reason, leaving the amalgam filling alone is better if there is no reason to remove it.”
Amalgam long had been the popular cavity filling choice for dentists because of its strength and durability. However, the silver color creates an unsightly contrast to the color of teeth and the material is prone to a wider degree of expansion and contraction due to hot or cold liquids. This could lead to a higher rate of fractures in the surrounding tooth and increased sensitivity.
Composite cavity filling protects from unseen decay
The performance characteristics of the composite cavity filling have improved over the years to now rank as the most popular option. The ability to closely match the color to natural teeth makes composites a viable option for both front and back teeth.
Composites also offer superior bonding capabilities to the tooth structure for further support and can be used for repair purposes as well as cavity fillings. Open margins between an amalgam filling and a tooth can make it difficult to detect a possible cavity underneath. Composites create a better seal and avoid this issue.
“When we take out old silver (amalgam) cavity fillings, we usually replace it with a composite,” Dr. Tran says. “There is no reason to put another amalgam filling in there, but you should ask your dentist if you have any questions about your next cavity filling.”
RLJ Dental, Meeting All Your Dental Needs
No matter where you are in Wisconsin, no matter what dental needs you have, our network of independent dentists are committed to providing the best service with the latest technologies, for the most affordable price. From comprehensive prevention to aesthetic dentistry; periodontal treatments to restorative work; from implants to sports dentistry, RLJ Dental is ready to serve you.
Our trustworthy team is out to build long-lasting relationships, and we measure our success by a lifetime of smiles. Visit RLJDental.com to find a location near you.
View original article on cavity filling here.