Moving from amalgam to composite fillings is one way dentistry is improving!
Fillings are one of the greatest innovations in modern medicine, keeping our smiles healthy. It’s important that cavities are filled — without them severe tooth decay would increase causing tooth loss, and tooth loss can greatly impact our dental hygiene, let alone our overarching health and wellness.
For a major period of modern dentistry, fillings were composed of amalgam, a series of metal alloys, and since, most dental practices have moved on from amalgam and have ventured into composite fillings — but why composite?
At Dr. Martin J. Schwartz, DDS in Gramercy Park, we use composite fillings for cavities — learn all about their advantages in today’s post.
The Amalgam Conundrum
Dentistry used amalgam for fillings for so long, why stray from them? While the American Dental Association stands behind the safety of amalgam fillings, there has been much talk and debate in the scientific community about the health concerns of mercury which are one of the metals used in amalgam fillings.
Wherever you fall on the mercury debate spectrum, there are many advantages to composite fillings, which we’ll explore today.
Some of the main drawbacks to amalgam fillings include:
They’re not as aesthetically pleasing (they are highly visible on the surface of the tooth)
Some healthy tooth has to be removed in the cavity filling procedure
If a tooth cracks, they may expand or contract
8 Advantages of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are made from a mixture of acrylic resin and powdered glass, which make them a common choice because of their discreet appearance.
While many dental practices have moved towards composite fillings, still there are many advantages of this type over traditional amalgam.
Composite fillings better preserve your natural tooth.
Compared to amalgam fillings which require a good portion of your tooth to be removed that weakens the overall structure, composite fillings requires less drilling and removal of a healthy tooth, and once bonded, it actually strengthens the tooth.
Composite fillings strengthen your natural tooth.
The resin in composite fillings bond to your tooth, fortifying it. Typically there are two types of composite fillings including onlays and overlays that are custom created in a dental lab. Once placed, the hardened composite bonds to your tooth, providing additional strength.
Composite fillings look natural.
Compared to the metal appearance of amalgam fillings, composite fillings are natural-tooth colored, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
Composite fillings can replace old amalgam fillings.
Many people who have amalgam fillings who are worried about the effects of mercury are wanting to replace amalgam with composite. The great news is, you can! Mercury fillings can easily be replaced, removing the mercury and giving your teeth a nice, healthy look!
Composite fillings can be restored.
Over time, fillings can begin to degrade as a result of teeth grinding, excessive chewing, and wear and tear, and can easily be repaired.
Composite fillings are a quick dental procedure!
Once the tooth has been prepared and the filling placed, a light is used to harden and cure it, in just a matter of minutes!
Composite fillings are versatile!
Not only are composite fillings great for mitigating cavities, they can also be used to repair, broken, chipped, or worn-down teeth.
Composite fillings ward tooth sensitivity!
While amalgam fillings are known to be one of the causes of tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures, composite fillings can actually decrease tooth sensitivity because they can insulate a tooth, protecting them from extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Treat cavities with composite cavities at our Gramercy Park dental office today!
If you’ve been battling a cavity, it’s time to get it checked out and filled! There are a variety of advantages when it comes to composite fillings, so schedule your appointment today!