The Difference Between Composite and Amalgam Fillings

Dentists use tooth fillings to preserve teeth. They not only close holes, chips, or cracks in your teeth, but they also protect your natural teeth from further damage such as tooth decay. Amalgam and composite fillings are two common types used to preserve your oral health. 

The top-quality dental care at Hometown Family Dental Centers includes cavity repair and dental fillings for all ages. Our dental experts see patients in three convenient locations in Vass, Fayetteville, and Raeford, North Carolina. 

What is a filling?

A filling replaces tooth material lost to decay, injury or chipping, or wear. Our gentle professionals preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible while preparing the tooth for a filling. Diseased tooth matter is removed and filled with a material that restores the tooth’s shape. 

At Hometown Family Dental Centers, we use two different types of fillings: amalgam and composite, which differ in material properties and color. But is one better than the other?

Amalgam fillings

Amalgam is the classic choice among dental fillings. The material is made of silver alloy and other metals — often called silver fillings, they are clearly visible against the natural color of your teeth. They’re antibacterial and, in most cases, a more affordable option than composite fillings.

After the dentist fills the hole in your tooth with the amalgam filling, the material hardens within a few minutes and seals the defective tooth tightly.

Amalgam fillings are very durable, withstanding heavy chewing and lasting 10 to 15 years. Because amalgam fillings are more evident than composite fillings, they’re not always the best option for patients who seek discreet dental care.

Composite fillings

Composite fillings are difficult to distinguish from the color of your natural tooth enamel, and they’re increasingly becoming the first choice as a filling material for many patients. The composite material is a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin.

Your dentist inserts the composite material carefully in layers, and every layer is cured with a hardening lamp. These tooth-colored fillings are ideal for front teeth and more visible teeth because they blend in with your natural teeth, but they typically aren’t as long-lasting as amalgam fillings.

Which kind of filling is the better choice?

Both types of fillings are very durable and made to last with good oral care. If you attach great importance to aesthetics, a composite filling may be your more likely choice. If you’re seeking something with a longer life regardless of a natural look, an amalgam filling does a solid job.

Every patient has unique oral care needs to consider. Our oral care experts at Hometown Family Dental Centers help you decide which kind of filling is best for you. If you need a new filling or a replacement filling, call us today or use this secure online form to request an appointment.

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