There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Amalgam (mercury fillings) was the filling of choice used by most dentist until most recently. The disadvantages of silver amalgam fillings are that the silver was visible and interrupted the whiteness of your smile. In addition, amalgam is known to actually damage your tooth in the long run by expanding and contracting with heat and cold. Therefore, as the filling ages, tooth fractures can occur. Amalgam is also known to leak over time, which allows new decay to develop. Because of this we have chosen to be a "mercury free" practice and only place composite (tooth colored) fillings.
As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.