Amalgam vs Composite

Beautiful Smile

In order to choose the treatment that is best for you, it is important to know the difference between the two. Continue reading for more information about amalgam and composite fillings in San Jose.

What are Amalgam Fillings?

Commonly known as “silver” fillings, amalgam has been in use for over 150 years. It is a mixture of metals that is firmly compacted into the tooth in order to restore the tooth structure and fill the site of decay.

In order to place amalgam fillings, the dentist will first ensure that all signs of decay are removed from the tooth. They will then take a capsule of powdered alloy and mix it with liquid mercury to form the pliable, putty-like amalgam material. The amalgam material is then packed into the tooth, where it quickly hardens. The dentist will then file off any spots that are too high for the patient’s bite and the appointment is concluded.

Amalgam fillings are extremely strong and durable and have been known to last patients their entire lifetime, making them extremely dependable. They are also the cheaper option when compared with composite fillings.

While amalgam fillings can be very beneficial, there are some negative aspects to consider, as well:

Due to the reasons listed above, dentists usually strongly prefer the use of composite fillings for their patients.

What are Composite Fillings?

Also known as “white” fillings, composite fillings are comprised of a durable resin material that is matched to the shade of the patients’ teeth.

To place composite fillings, the dentist will remove all decay in the tooth. They will then need to ensure that the area is completely dry during the entire time that they will be working, as composite fillings will not correctly bond to the tooth if they become wet. The dentist will carefully work to apply a bonding solution to the tooth and then place the composite material inside the tooth. The material remains in a putty-like form until it is cured by a UV light. It is then that it hardens and can then be smoothed and filed as needed.

Composite fillings have become wildly popular in modern dentistry, mostly due to the fact that they are nearly impossible to see without the help of an x-ray. The biggest drawback of composite fillings is that they are not as durable as amalgam fillings, and in most cases must be replaced after some time has passed. They are more expensive than amalgam fillings, so for those who are on a budget, composite fillings may not be the best option.

After you have a filling placed, whether it be composite or amalgam, it is common to experience some sensitivity. Your dentist will instruct you on how to best care for your tooth post-op and will most likely suggest that you refrain from foods that are hard, sticky, or extremely hot or cold.

Speak with your dentist about what he or she recommends for you and consider what is important to you when ensuring that your cavity is filled. Moving forward with the information you learned here, you will be able to find a solution that works best for you and your tooth health. To get scheduled for a cavity filling in San Jose, give us a call. Willow Glen Dental Center, (408) 266-6144.

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