The Difference Between Amalgam and Composite Resin Dental Fillings

Apr 24th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry

Resin Dental FillingsIf you had a dental filling placed when you were younger, it’s likely that your restoration is dark in color and is made of a combination of trace metals, including mercury, zinc, silver, and copper. This type of dental filling is called an amalgam filling and was once the standard for restoring a tooth that had been damaged by decay. Today, however, San Francisco dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu wants to discuss the new standard for restoring decaying teeth and how you can update your out-of-date dental restorations.

Amalgam Fillings vs. Composite Resin Fillings

Over the past few years, amalgam fillings have become a hot topic in the dental and medical worlds. Why? Because of their mercury content. Over time, amalgam fillings have been known to break down and leak, releasing potentially harmful substances into the bloodstream of the patient. Additionally, as amalgam fillings fail, the cavity underneath can become exposed, increasing the patient’s chance of experiencing further tooth decay and eventually needing a root canal to save the tooth from extraction and the mouth and body from severe infection. Because of their dark appearance, amalgam fillings have also come under fire for creating dark eyesores in otherwise all-white smiles.

Within the past decade, composite resin fillings have become the standard for restoring decaying teeth. Made from a tooth-colored putty-like substance, composite resin fillings are durable, lifelike, and biocompatible restorations that can withstand the extreme pressures and temperatures your teeth endure on a daily basis year after year without breaking down or leaking. Additionally, composite resin fillings maintain the integrity of an all-white smile thanks to their tooth-colored appearance. For these reasons, composite resin dental fillings are a viable—and, in most cases, better—alternative to traditional amalgam fillings.

Replacing Your Amalgam Fillings

At your dental cleanings and exams, Dr. Moiceanu checks the stability of your existing amalgam dental fillings and the health of the teeth underneath. If Dr. Moiceanu detects that one of your fillings is deteriorating or that the tooth underneath needs follow-up dental maintenance, he might suggest replacing your amalgam filling with a composite filling.

If, however, your amalgam filling is doing its job, Dr. Moiceanu will most likely suggest leaving your amalgam filling in place until it does cause a problem. Why? Because there’s no reason to fix something that isn’t broken—and a tooth that is damaged by decay shouldn’t undergo any procedures that aren’t absolutely necessary. Dr. Moiceanu and our team have your best interests at heart, and we pledge that we will provide you with the top-notch dental care you need and deserve to live a healthy, high-quality life. If you have questions about replacing your amalgam fillings with composite resin dental fillings, call Hilltop Family Dental in Richmond, California at (510) 758-7222. We serve patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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