Amalgam and Composite Dental Fillings

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Welcome to Gil Fernandez, D.D.S. Family Dentistry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the dental office of Dr. Gilbert Fernandez and his dedicated team. The most common dental fillings used in today’s fillings are amalgam and composite resin fillings. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so we are going to compare a few just for these two types of fillings.

Amalgam fillings are also known as silver or mercury fillings. These fillings are made of a combination of silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. Amalgam fillings are stronger than composite fillings, which makes them ideal for the teeth in the back molars which support the pressures of chewing because they wear down less quickly than their composite counterparts.

Amalgam fillings have a small amount of mercury in them, which is toxic, but in such small amounts that it is still less than what you would ingest if you ate an ocean fish. So unless you have a mercury allergy, this tiny amount of mercury should not present a problem.

Because the amalgam filling doesn’t bond to your tooth like a composite filling does, your dentist needs to make the filling wider at the bottom, which means cutting part of the tooth’s healthy structure, something you don’t need done with composite filings. But amalgam fillings cost less than composite fillings, and they last longer on larger areas.

Composite fillings or white fillings are popular because they blend in with your natural tooth, making your smile look natural. They are perfect for small to mid-size cavities and strong enough to be used on the back teeth as well as the front.

With a composite filling, your dentist doesn’t need to cut away healthy tooth structure because the composite resin bonds to the tooth. Composite fillings do shrink a tiny bit when they harden which might allow bacteria to enter, making them technique sensitive. Your dentist must make sure no moisture is present when placing the filling. Composite fillings last 7-10 years, which is about the same for silver fillings, unless it is a large filling.

At Gil Fernandez, D.D.S. Family Dentistry, we are pleased to offer our dental fillings for your healthy smile. If it is time for your next dental checkup or if you are experiencing problems with a filling, you can reach our dedicated team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by calling 505-898-8063 today.