If you have a damaged area in your tooth, getting a filling basically stops the progression of the decay so you do not lose your tooth so quickly. When done properly, a filling can last for many years, and there are usually two types of fillings you can choose from when you go to the dentist: amalgam and composite. Even though amalgam was once the most popular type of filling material, composite has quickly stepped to the forefront as the most popular choice. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of composite dental fillings.
Pro: Composite fillings match the color of your natural teeth.
One of the biggest advantages of composite fillings, and the reason many patients go with composite, is that the material can be tinted to match the color of the natural teeth. Amalgam fillings are dark grey or silver, which means the fillings show up very well. You could have composite fillings in your front teeth and most people would never see that there is a difference in your smile.
Con: Composite fillings may not last quite as long as amalgam fillings.
For a long time, dentists recommended amalgam fillings in the back teeth because amalgam does not wear away quite the same as composite. Composite filling materials can break down faster with the chewing force exerted by the larger jaw teeth. Nevertheless, the composite filling material is highly resilient and can last for a long time; it just may be slightly shorter-lived than amalgam.
Pro: Composite filling material is free of metal.
Amalgam is a material made out of several types of metal compounds, including silver and mercury. On the other hand, the composite material used for fillings is made out of components like resin and plastic, so it does not contain any metal. If you are not keen on the idea of having foreign metal-containing objects in your teeth, you may want to consider composite fillings for your teeth instead.
Con: Composite fillings can stain over time.
Composite is tinted to be the natural color of your teeth, but the surface of the hardened material is not the same as tooth enamel. The surface of the filling can become discolored with age, especially if you eat and drink certain things on a regular basis. Some people eventually have to get their composite fillings replaced because they have changed colors, especially fillings in the front teeth.
For more information, reach out to a family dentistry service.