If you have a cavity in Southington, Plantsville, or Wolcott, you may be wondering what type of filling is the best option for restoring your smile. At Southington Dentistry, we offer both composite and amalgam dental fillings. Each one has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at them now and discuss everything you need to know.
Composite fillings use a special type of glass that’s mixed with dental resin. The result is a pliable and strong composite mixture that hardens once it’s contacted by UV light. The composite filling material is applied to the tooth layer-by-layer, then hardened and sculpted to ensure it fits into the cavity perfectly. The biggest benefit of composite fillings is that they look and feel just like a part of your natural tooth. Different blends of resin with a wide variety of colors are available, so Dr. Neil Salesky can easily choose the resin that will match your existing teeth properly. Once your tooth has been restored, it will be almost indistinguishable from the surrounding teeth. Composite fillings also typically require the removal of less natural enamel during the preparation process, and bond tightly to strengthen the tooth. However, they are somewhat more brittle than amalgam dental fillings, so they are not quite as durable or long-lasting. They usually last between 5-10 years.
Dental amalgam has been used in dentistry for more than a century, and it’s a time-tested, reliable way to restore decayed teeth. Amalgam consists of multiple metals, usually including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Together, these metals create a very strong yet pliable restoration that is not brittle and can withstand high pressure. This means that amalgam fillings are better used in the rear molars and premolars, where the pressure of chewing is much higher than in the front teeth. Amalgam fillings also usually last longer than composite dental fillings. Their lifespan can be up to 10-15 years. However, the main drawback is that amalgam fillings have a silver appearance that discolors the tooth. Again, this makes them more suitable for the rear teeth, where aesthetics are not as important. Some patients also do not like that amalgam fillings have mercury in them, because it’s a toxic substance. Mercury has not been shown to have any negative effects in amalgam fillings, but this is still something to keep in mind.
So, what’s better? It really depends on your needs. Amalgam fillings are better for treating rear teeth, and offer a longer lifespan, but discolor the tooth somewhat. Composite fillings don’t last as long, but provide far superior aesthetic results, making them better for front teeth. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, we recommend getting in touch with Southington Dentistry for a consultation with Dr. Neil Salesky. He can provide you with more information about both procedures, and help you make the right decision. Contact us online or give us a call at (860) 628-5029 to get the help you need.
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