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Composite vs Amalgam (Silver) Dental Fillings: Which one is better?

Updated: May 16, 2023

At Westgrove Dental Care in Garden Grove, CA, we offer composite, or natural color fillings, as restorations. When it comes to dental fillings, there are two main options available: amalgam fillings and composite fillings. Amalgam fillings have been the standard for many years, but in recent years, composite fillings have become increasingly popular. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of composite fillings and why they are a better choice than amalgam fillings.


Aesthetics

One of the most significant advantages of composite fillings is their appearance. Unlike amalgam fillings, which are silver in color, composite fillings are made of a tooth-colored resin material. This makes them virtually invisible, and they can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

This is especially important for fillings in visible areas of the mouth, such as the front teeth. With composite fillings, you can maintain the appearance of a natural, healthy smile without any noticeable metal fillings.


Safety

Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that amalgam fillings are safe, there are concerns about the potential health risks associated with exposure to mercury.

Composite fillings, on the other hand, are made of a resin material that is completely free of mercury or other potentially harmful metals. This makes them a safer option for individuals who may be sensitive or allergic to certain metals.


Strength and Durability

Composite fillings are made of a strong, durable resin material that can withstand the pressures of chewing and biting. This means that they are less likely to crack or break than amalgam fillings, which can weaken over time.

Additionally, composite fillings bond directly to the tooth structure, which helps to strengthen the tooth and prevent further decay. This can help to preserve the natural tooth structure and prevent the need for more extensive dental work in the future.


Less Invasive

Another advantage of composite fillings is that they require less preparation of the tooth structure. With amalgam fillings, more of the healthy tooth structure may need to be removed in order to create a space for the filling.

Composite fillings, however, can be bonded directly to the tooth structure, which means that less healthy tooth structure needs to be removed. This is a less invasive procedure, and it can help to preserve the natural tooth structure and prevent further damage to the tooth.


Versatility

Composite fillings are a versatile option that can be used for a variety of dental restorations. They can be used to fill cavities, repair chips and cracks, and even to reshape teeth.

Additionally, composite fillings can be used to replace old amalgam fillings. This can improve the appearance of the teeth and eliminate any potential health risks associated with mercury exposure.


In summary, composite fillings offer several advantages over amalgam fillings, and are what we offer in our office at Westgrove Dental Care in Garden Grove, CA. They are more aesthetically pleasing, safer, stronger, less invasive, and more versatile. If you are in need of a dental filling, consider choosing composite fillings for a healthier, more natural-looking smile. Be sure to consult with Dr. Brandon or Dr. Iris Skenandore to determine the best option for your individual needs!

Dentist at Westgrove Dental Care in Garden Grove, CA checking a patient's dental fillings.

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