Amalgam (Silver Fillings)
Dental amalgam is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Sometimes described as “silver-colored” fillings, dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years. Critics have been questioning to safe usage of amalgam for many years however major health authorities such as the American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. The Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and National Multiple Sclerosis Society—all science-based organizations like the ADA—also say that amalgam poses no health risk. Even with the advancements in modern dentistry amalgam or silver may still be indicated in situations where the cavity extends into the gums.
If considering replacing existing silver fillings for more aesthetic alternatives it is very important that it is carried out in a safe fashion.
Composite Resin (White Fillings)
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture aesthetic alternative to previously used silver fillings. Resins have dramatically improved over the years and because they are bonded to the tooth allow for a more conservative preparation of your tooth.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are highest quality of restoration available. They are fabricated in a laboratory by a specialized technician who ensures a perfect fit. These restorations are ideal if the side or top area of a tooth is damaged or decayed. The decayed or broken tooth structure is shaped and an impression is taken. A small filling is made from the model of the impression. The inlay is then fitted into the tooth and cemented or bonded permanently. Onlays are basically large fillings. When a portion of a tooth’s crown is severely decayed or a cusp is fractured, an onlay may be used to restore the tooth.