Different Filling materials
Amalgam are silver fillings. Amalgam is a combination of metals that has been the most popular and effective filling material used in dentistry for the last 150 years. They are made by combining mercury and a silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, and 15% tin, copper and other metals).
How safe is amalgam?
Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over 100 years. So far, no reputable ‘controlled’ studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.
Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base.
Why should I consider tooth coloured fillings?
They are aesthetic and matched closely to the natural colour of your teeth. They also bond to the tooth enamel which can limit the amount of tooth removal. This may be used to repair teeth where otherwise a crown may be indicated.
Are they as good as silver amalgam fillings?
Composite fillings are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. However due to the bonding nature of the material this type of filling may be more successful.
Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?
It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing or for cosmetic reasons. Ask your dentist for advice.
Glass ionomer fillings?
This is tooth coloured filling material that bonds to enamel and dentine made of acrylic and a component of glass called fluoroaluminosilicate. They may also release fluoride, which helps to prevent further tooth decay. This type of filling is weaker than composite resin, therefore usually only used on baby teeth and ‘non-biting’ surfaces such as around the ‘necks’ of the teeth.