Getting a dental filling is not many people’s idea of a good time. Neither is deciding which type of filling to get: amalgam or composite. There are, however, differences between the two which make choosing the right one an important decision you shouldn’t neglect. So, composite fillings vs. amalgam: Which is better?
Amalgam fillings are silver in appearance and are the time-tested fillings that are familiar to most people. Amalgam refers to a mixture of metals, which in the case of fillings are copper, silver, tin, and mercury. In fact, mercury amounts for half of the make-up of amalgam fillings, as it acts as a bonding agent for the other metals, creating a strong, durable filling material. There are several pros and cons associated with traditional amalgam fillings:
- Amalgam fillings have been used for over one hundred years, meaning they have been proven effective with time.
- Amalgam fillings last on average 10 to 15 years, meaning you do not have to replace them as often as composite fillings. Amalgam fillings are much less expensive than composite fillings.
- Amalgam fillings are much more noticeable than composite fillings, as they are metallic in color.
- Because of the combinations of metals found in amalgam fillings, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to them.
Composite, or resin, fillings are a compound of plastic and ceramic. Composite fillings, also known as white fillings, blend in with the natural tooth, providing an invisible appearance. Like amalgam fillings, composite ones have many benefits and drawbacks:
- Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are the same color as your natural teeth, meaning they are practically invisible.
- Composite resin is much more flexible than the metals in amalgam fillings, meaning that less drilling is required and more of the original tooth is retained.
- Resin easily bonds to teeth.
- Composite fillings require replacement more often than amalgam fillings. Composite fillings usually last between five and seven years.
- The process of installing a composite filling is much more time consuming than an amalgam filling.
So, Which Is Better?
Still not sure which is the best option? The answer depends on a variety of factors. One element to consider is the location of the filling. If it is on a back tooth, amalgam fillings may be advantageous, as they last longer, are less visible to others, and are cheaper to get. For more visible teeth, composite fillings may work better, as they blend into your natural teeth. Another factor is insurance. Some insurance plans may not cover composite fillings – though this is much less common nowadays – as they are deemed a cosmetic fix. The best way to decide for yourself if you should choose an amalgam or composite filling is to talk to your dentist.
If You Need Dental Work, Florida Dental Solutions Is Here to Help
Cavities and damaged teeth can be painful. However, visiting a dentist shouldn’t be. At Florida Dental Solutions, we strive to make getting dental work done a pleasant experience. We specialize in providing our clients with comprehensive dental care at affordable prices. If you are looking to say goodbye to dental problems, give us a call today at (954) 362-4102.