Composite fillings, or tooth-colored fillings, provide patients with long-lasting durability and increased resistance to fracture in small and medium-sized fillings that need to withstand the constant pressure and stress associated with chewing. Composite fillings can be placed in either front or back teeth, and they provide a more natural appearance when compared to traditional amalgam, or metallic, fillings. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings contain no traces of mercury, making them a good alternative to traditional metal fillings.
Advantages of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are tooth-colored restorations that prevent tooth decay, strengthen weakened teeth and look natural. Placing a composite filling can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. Composite tooth-colored dental fillings come in a variety of shades to match the color of the actual and surrounding tooth structures, and can generally be placed during one office visit.
Disadvantages of Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used by dentists for decades. While amalgam fillings are approved the American Dental Association and are known to be safe and effective for protecting teeth from further decay, they are a more unattractive option and have some disadvantages. The edges of silver fillings can cause stains to develop on your teeth and gums. The metal in amalgam fillings expands and contract over the year, which can cause cracks in teeth to develop. Amalgam fillings can also begin to crack or break, which can result in an increased risk of tooth decay or tooth fracture.