Dentists have used silver amalgam fillings to treat tooth decay since the mid-1800s. Mercury makes up approximately half of the mixture used to create fillings. Copper, silver, and tin make up the other half.
People began expressing concerns about fillings made from mercury about 50 years ago. However, it has only been in the last decade or two that dental patients began requesting alternatives to traditional silver amalgam fillings. If you need a cavity filled, white fillings in Fargo, ND, work the same way as metal fillings, offering you a safer and more discreet alternative.
Metal vs. White Fillings
Because they have been the gold standard in dentistry for so long, traditional metal fillings usually cost less than composite fillings. On the downside, Dr. Harr needs to remove a small amount of healthy tooth structure to place the filling since the materials don’t chemically bond with teeth. Because of this, your tooth structure grows weaker over time.
When given the choice, patients often prefer white fillings because they blend in better with the natural shade of their teeth. They don’t have to worry about exposing their fillings when they talk, laugh, or smile. Another benefit of composite fillings is that Dr. Harr doesn’t need to remove any portion of healthy tooth structure to place them.
When Should You Replace a Metal Filling with a Composite One?
Although metal fillings with mercury don’t pose a substantial risk to your health, you can opt to have them removed and replace them with white fillings. Dr. Harr may also recommend replacing old metal fillings with new composite ones in the following situations:
- You have a new allergy to amalgam materials.
- You have developed tooth decay underneath your metal filling
- Your old filling has become loose, cracked, or fallen off
Metal fillings have a lifespan of approximately 10 to 15 years, while white fillings last anywhere from five to 10 years. As dental technology continues to expand, composite fillings should catch up with metal fillings in longevity and popularity.
Concerned About Tooth Decay?
Mild to moderate pain is often the first indication that your tooth has started to decay. Please schedule an appointment with Melinda Harr Dental if you think you need a cavity filled.
Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings: Which is Best for You? – Dentaly.org