What is a dental filling? A dental filling is a restorative procedure used by dentists to correct and repair tooth decay, minor fractures and similar damage to the surfaces of your teeth. These fillings can be comprised of porcelain/composite or silver amalgam and can also be used to adjust the surfaces of your teeth for better chewing and biting. Each material option used in the filling procedure comes with its pros and cons. Here, we have listed some of the main factors patients consider when choosing the materials for their treatment to better help you understand your options.
Composite fillings are often chosen for their natural tooth colored appearance. In addition, fillings made from dental composite contain no mercury or other metals which may sometimes contribute to the sensitivity of some patients. Some patients also complain from a metal taste after the completion of silver amalgam fillings.
The lifespan of your dental fillings will be directly affected by your oral hygiene. Generally amalgam fillings have a life expectancy of 12 years, whereas composite fillings have a life expectancy of 5-7 years. Technological advances have worked on making the dental composite more durable as the strength of composite resin has increased and can now be used for all tooth restorations, including molars. Composite resin materials also require less preparation time than silver amalgam and may not weaken the tooth as much as metal fillings. Meaning that less healthy tooth structure is removed when placing a composite filling. Yet, amalgam fillings still hold the longer lasting record with regards to dental fillings.
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