Composite Vs. Silver (Amalgam) Fillings
When teeth are broken or have cavities, often times they can be restored with a filling. Fillings do have limitations and to be successful a certain amount of tooth structure must exist in order to support the filling. Generally there are two types of filling materials. One type and the most commonly used today is a tooth colored resin or composite material that bonds to the tooth. The other type is a silver filling.
Silver or amalgam fillings contain a mixture or alloy of silver, copper and mercury that are mixed together and set up hard in the tooth preparation. These types of fillings have been used for hundreds of years and are still used today by some dentists. Over time the mercury in the fillings slowly leaks out causing microscopic expansion and contraction of the filling. This results in tiny gaps forming between the tooth and the filling allowing decay to enter. Also small fractures may eventually occur in the tooth from the expansion/contraction causing the tooth to break, often times resulting in the need for a crown or even an extraction. For these reasons, as well as the often unesthetic appearance of an old silver filling, tooth colored fillings have become much more widely used.
Dr Michaelson uses tooth colored composite or resin fillings exclusively when a filling is needed. These type of materials are continuously improving yearly, are very esthetic, strong and durable, bond to the tooth and are an overall excellent treatment choice when indicated.