Restoring broken, worn, or decayed teeth with a tooth filling is the most common procedure done by a general dentist. Teeth can be filled using a variety of materials depending on the size of the area needing restoration, the location of the tooth in the mouth as well as other factors. At Yankton Family Dentistry, the materials used most commonly for tooth fillings are composite resins (tooth-colored fillings) and dental amalgam (silver colored fillings). Most often the choice is made to use a composite resin as they are solid, functional restorations that are nearly undetectable to the naked eye because they blend right into the surrounding natural tooth structure. However, there are times when a silver may be recommended. Dr. Mike or Dr. Darcie will discuss with you the filling material they believe is right for your tooth.
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Composite resins are bonded to the teeth creating a tight fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in a wide range of circumstances from the smallest of cavities needing filled to teeth with a large amount of natural tooth structure needing replacement.
Composite resin restorations have an obvious esthetic benefit over silver fillings and can be used anywhere in the mouth from the very front teeth to furthest back molars.
Dental Amalgam (silver restorations)
Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental filling material that has been in use for over 150 years. It continues to be used in certain situations for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement; it remains soft for a short time so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume, and it is less effected by moisture during placement. It also possesses proven strength and durability.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite material are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.