If you’ve ever had a cavity or suffered damage to a tooth, then chances are that you’re at least somewhat familiar with fillings. For most of us who grew up decades ago, those fillings generally all looked pretty much the same: some silver amalgam that offered a great deal of strength and durability. White composite fillings have gradually become more commonplace, though, and many people rely on the more natural-looking fillings to help maintain that ideal smile. At the same time, there are many who still wonder: are white fillings as reliable as the old silver option?
What Are the Benefits of Amalgam?
No one can deny the very real benefits offered by amalgam fillings. They are strong, and durable, and have proven their reliability over more than a century of use. They are also relatively inexpensive to apply, making them a viable option for most patients. Because the amalgam is pliable, dentists have a fairly easy time working with the material to create a prefect-fitting filling. Once in place, the material hardens to its more durable form.
What Are the Benefits of Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings also offer many benefits. While they were not as durable when they were first introduced, they have dramatically improved in that are in recent years. They are now quite durable, and resistant to chips and breaks. Still, the one benefit that continues to draw more attention than any other is that they are white – and thus look more natural than amalgam fillings.
Potential Composite Shortcomings
These fillings do have some drawbacks, however. For example, they can only be properly applied when the working area of the mouth is entirely dry. As you might imagine, that can pose a real challenge – especially in the wetter back region of the mouth. Any errors in application can also result in temperature sensitivity or an increased risk of additional decay. A competent dentist can avoid this, however. Finally, these fillings are costlier than amalgam, and are often not covered by health insurance since they are considered cosmetic in nature.
The Important Comparison
Amalgam fillings are still used by many dentists – especially in the back of patients’ mouths, where aesthetics are often a secondary concern. Composite fillings have demonstrated their reliability and are now the preferred choice for many dentists and patients alike. They provide the most natural, tooth-like appearance, and are strong, durable, and long-lived. In short, patients can rely on these white fillings to do the job.
At Ebenezer Dental, we know that our patients want the strongest combination of both form and function when it comes to their dental fillings. White fillings are a reliable replacement for amalgams that can provide both functionality and aesthetics for the patients who choose them. At the same time, however, patients should always consult with their dentist to determine which material is the right one for any given situation. If you’d like to learn more about your filling options, or schedule an appointment with the best dentist in midtown Manhattan, contact us today.