Silver (amalgam) dental fillings have been the go-to way to fill cavities on the back teeth for years. But that silver look is quickly becoming passé. Seeing silver on your molars when you talk or laugh is not a good look. Dr. Holbrook offers composite fillings as a replacement for an older filling or to fill a new cavity.
Composite fillings are made of tooth-colored, quartz-like materials and can be done in one dental visit, similar to amalgam fillings. When placing composite fillings, the decayed material is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and sterilized. The cavity is filled layer by layer with the composite filling. After each layer is placed, it is hardened with a curing light. Then the next layer is applied until the process is complete. The end result is an invisible restoration, in contrast to the dark silver of an amalgam filling.
Composite fillings can be used to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth, close the space between teeth, repair worn teeth…and, of course, fill cavities.
Composite fillings have advantages and disadvantages when compared to silver amalgam fillings:
- Are aesthetically pleasing
- Are made from non-toxic materials (amalgam contains a variety of metals, including mercury)
- Bond to the tooth surface for added strength
- Protect the tooth structure – the healthy tooth material surrounding the cavity does not need to be removed
However, composite fillings:
- Cost more because the composite material is more expensive
- Take more time
- Last about half the time of amalgam fillings
Do you have questions about your existing amalgam fillings or want to learn more about the aesthetic results of composite fillings? Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holbrook, today: (505) 881-1159.