Composite Resin Fillings vs. Amalgam Fillings

So you have a cavity! Don’t feel bad– virtually everyone gets at least a few cavities in their lifetime. Ther important thing to focus on now is finding the right solution.

Generally speaking, the solution to a dental cavity is a filling, but dentistry has changed since the days of those ugly grey fillings that showed whenever you laughed and required portions of your healthy tooth to be drilled away to fit them. Our mercury-free composite resin fillings might just be right for you!

Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings

You may have heard of amalgam fillings referred to as “silver fillings”; this is because they are made from an amalgam of the metals silver, mercury, tin, and copper. For many years, silver amalgam was the only option available to dentists for fillings. They were in extremely wide use for several decades, and it wasn’t without reason– they are long-lasting and very durable. They are also the most cost-effective option for filling a cavity, but even with these good qualities there are some facts about amalgams to consider.

Amalgam fillings are unsightly and contain mercury
Amalgam fillings are unsightly and contain mercury

The major objection that has arisen to these fillings is their use of mercury, which is known to be toxic to the body. While the other metals and process with which the amalgam fillings are made keeps mercury’s harmful properties in check for the most part, a poorly made amalgam or a patient with an illness or mercury allergy could result in a distaster. There also haven’t been enough long-term studies on the effects of mercury-leeching from amalgam fillings in the average patient, so it’s not completely possible to guarantee their safety.

Composite fillings are made with a resin that matches the color of the natural tooth rather than showing up as a huge metallic patch in your tooth, and does not require drilling to fit. This is because composite resin, like other resins, is a liquid and can be poured directly into the cavity in liquid form. The resin is then cured to form a solid and lasting bond with your tooth and fills in all of the missing tooth material regardless of the cavity’s shape.

Composite resin matches your teeth and preserves healthy material
Composite resin matches your teeth and preserves healthy material

Composite resin is slightly weaker than traditional amalgam fillings, but for average-sized tooth cavities in moderately healthy teeth they have almost the same lifespan. Additionally, composite resin fillings are not vulnerable to the contraction or expansion effects that metal undergoes due to changes in temperature, which has caused many amalgam fillings to loosen, pull away, or fall out completely.

Our Office

As a mercury-free practice, Infinite Dental Wellness works exclusively with resin fillings to repair our patients’ tooth cavities. Our durable composite resins are of the highest quality, and our after-care is unmatched in extending the life of your composite fillings and overall well-being. To check your teeth for cavities and take the next step, contact us today!