Composite (tooth colored) Fillings vs Amalgam (silver) Fillings
The development of stronger resin (tooth colored) filling material for restorations has been a major focus of dentistry for several years. Dental insurance companies have been covering composite fillings on the upper and lower front teeth, where the cosmetic benefit is crucial, and now we are seeing that coverage being extended to the posterior molars with some dental insurance companies. Insurance coverage for composite fillings have, in the past, been downgraded to the lower priced amalgam fillings, now we are seeing some dental insurances covering the composite fillings on the posterior (back) molars.
Another benefit of the composite material is that is becomes bonded to the tooth structure enhancing the strength of the tooth as it adheres to the tooth rather than simply being a filler like the silver, amalgam fillings. The composite material can also be made to match the color of your tooth whereas the amalgam filling cannot. Not only is the amalgam filling silver in color, it has a wider range of expanding and contracting which over time can lead to cracks in the filling and tooth itself. The resin, composite is much less likely to cause fractures and cracks in the tooth. Esthetically pleasing and durability are two positive factors when choosing the composite filling.
Although studies show that amalgam fillings, which contain mercury, are safe, there is still a release of low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. Most of our patients here at Today's Dentistry prefer the composite fillings versus the amalgam filling.
Almost 100% of the fillings we do at Today's Dentistry are composite, giving our patients cosmetically pleasing, durable and strong teeth.
If you have questions about composite/resin fillings, please contact our office at 1-317-849-2933.