A dental filling is a restorative material used artificially to restore a damaged tooth to its natural look and function. The loss of a tooth structure typically results from cavities or external tooth trauma. Dental fillings may be fabricated out of a variety of materials. You and your dentist can discuss the best option for restoring your teeth.
Dental Amalgam and Composite Fillings
Dental Amalgam is a commonly used dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. Amalgam fillings are made up of 50% silver/tin alloy and 50% mercury. The biggest advantages of silver fillings is they are quickly placed, relatively durable and inexpensive. Amalgam possesses greater longevity than other restorative materials, such as composite. On average, most amalgam restorations serve 10-12 years, whereas composite fillings serve for about half that time.
Composite fillings are a great option for keeping your smile beautiful while restoring teeth that have fractured or decayed. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are made of quartz-like material making them virtually invisible once they are placed.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.