Tooth coloured fillings vs amalgam fillings

amalgam shutterstock 134949536 Tooth coloured fillings vs amalgam fillingsAt Perfect Teeth in Cairns we place great emphasis on educating patients about everything dental, from simple brushing and flossing techniques to explaining complex dental procedures in an easily digestible language.

In this article we explore amalgam fillings and tooth coloured fillings so that you can make more informed decisions about your dental health.

Dental amalgam fillings

The old, conventional method of filling dental cavities was to use amalgam restorations, which have since been scrutinized for fear of toxicity.

The word “amalgam” when referring to dental fillings means a mixture of two or more metals in which mercury is a component. Dental amalgam contains 54 percent mercury with other metals, including silver, copper and tin. Dental amalgams have commonly been referred to as “silver fillings” because of their appearance. It is one of the oldest filling materials and has been used (and improved) for more than 150 years.  Although amalgam has been used in dentistry for a long period of time and whilst it is still occasionally used, its popularity is decreasing.

While medical boards such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have not ruled out the use of dental amalgam, stating that they conclude it safe for adults and children over 6, in recent years, sophisticated tests have changed this view. Very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapour can actually be released as the amalgam filling wears.

Many individuals and groups who have raised this concern has prompted further studies which are currently underway.

Disadvantages of amalgam

  • Amalgam scrap (waste left over after repairing a cavity) contains mercury and requires special handling to protect the environment;
  • Amalgam can darken over time as it corrodes. This does not affect the function of the filling, but many people find it less attractive than tooth colored materials;
  • Placement of amalgam requires removal of some healthy tooth;
  • In rare cases, a localized, allergic reaction such as inflammation or rash may occur
  • When heated, it becomes a gas.

At Perfect Teeth, we can replace old amalgam fillings with tooth-coloured restorations that are completely non-toxic, safe, natural-looking and virtually undetectable. For more information about our safe and attractive tooth coloured alternative please reads on….

Tooth coloured restorations

Our tooth coloured fillings, comprised of a safe composite resin material, generally offer a superior aesthetic result because of their safety and appearance.  These aesthetic restorations will restore the curvatures and shape of the tooth and shading can be matched to the existing teeth.

Composite is a mixture of acrylic resin that is expertly applied to the curvatures and shape of your teeth and can be matched to the shade of existing teeth. We sculpt the material to the tooth and then harden it with a special light before we refine and polish the restoration.  In addition to fillings, composite can also be used for inlays/onlays, veneers or replace a portion of a broken or chipped tooth.

Advantages of composite resin

  • Composite is a relatively strong material, providing good durability in small to mid-sized restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure;
  • Composite may generally be used on either front or back teeth;
  • Fillings are usually completed in a single visit (with exceptions noted below);
  • Moderately resistant to breakage;
  • Low risk of leakage being bonded only to enamel
  • Does not corrode and generally holds up well to biting force
  • Moderately resistant to further decay
  • Frequency of repair or replacement is low to moderate

At Perfect Teeth located in Cairns, we understand that the aesthetics of your smile can be important. If you require a filling then our tooth coloured restorations offer the dental treatment you need without compromising the appearance of your smile.

For more information on tooth coloured restorations or to book an appointment at our Cairns Redlynch dental practice, please contact us.


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