Tooth-Colored Fillings vs. Metal Amalgam Fillings: The Better Option to Repair Teeth

At Smile Solutions, we are passionate about providing our patients with the best dental care. Dr. Jeffrey J. Emmi offers tooth-colored fillings to provide vital strength and protection following treatment for cavities. During a visit at our office, we can explain the benefits of tooth-colored fillings vs. metal amalgam fillings for patients in the Wilmington, DE, area.

Illustrated side-by-side of an amalgam and tooth-colored filling

Vital Repair

Following treatment to remove all decay and damaged tissue caused by cavities, your tooth will need a restorative treatment to restore the form and function of your smile. A dental filling is a common general procedure that is able to repair teeth that have suffered from small- to moderately sized cavities. Despite several faults, amalgam fillings have spent over a century as the dental standard for filling cavities. Years of research, however, have provided dentists with a new and better option in composite resin fillings.

Differing Placement Techniques

The composite resin used for a tooth-colored filling is tinted to match your natural tooth, and then placed in layers. Each layer is cured with a special light to strengthen the bond to the tooth. Dr. Emmi carefully shapes the filling and makes sure it fits with your natural bite and blends with surrounding teeth. Once the filling is placed, we will polish and shine the tooth with the filling, leaving you with a natural-looking smile.

With traditional amalgam fillings, the process is more invasive and less predictable. Because amalgam does not bond to teeth, it must be supported by the structure of the tooth. This process required removing more healthy tissue to create an angle that would hold the material in place. In addition, amalgam must be placed very soon after it is mixed, requiring doctors to work quickly, sometimes creating subpar results.

Disadvantages of Amalgam Fillings

While very effective at restoring the form of teeth damaged by cavities, amalgam fillings have several disadvantages. The dark color of these fillings contrasts with the natural shade of teeth. The darker color can show through, causing teeth to look gray. Exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures can also cause amalgam to expand and contract, causing teeth to crack or fillings to fall out. 

The durability of the composite allows fillings to withstand the pressure of chewing. With proper care, composite fillings can last ten years or more.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Made from a composite resin, tooth-colored fillings provide patients with aesthetic and functional advantages over amalgam. The resin can be tinted to match the color of the your natural teeth, making them virtually invisible. The color also makes these restorations a perfect option for filling cavities in front teeth as well as the back teeth.

In addition, when a composite resin filling is placed, it forms a chemical bond with the tooth, eliminating the need for large portions of the tooth to be removed. This bond provides additional support to the tooth’s structure and helps prevent breakage. The resin also insulates the tooth, protecting it from damage due to extreme temperature changes. In addition, the durability of the composite allows fillings to withstand the pressure of chewing. With proper care, composite fillings can last ten years or more. 

Repair Your Smile

When you have a cavity, do not settle for fillings that can detract from your smile. Contact our office today to learn more about natural-looking, tooth-colored fillings that can preserve your teeth and oral health.

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