Dental fillings are one of the most typical restorations we perform. Most fillings today are completed using a white composite material made up of crushed quartz that is blended with a strong resin. Composite is highly durable and long lasting, but even still, it is subject to breakage and does deteriorate with age. In some cases, a broken filling can be painful, but even if it is not, a broken filling is categorized as a dental emergency due to the area being exposed to bacteria. If you have lost, cracked, or broke a filling, our team at South Austin Dental can help.
We use dental filling material to make small and simple repairs to your enamel. This may be following the removal of decay, to fill a cavity, or to repair other damage such as cracks and fractures. Enamel is a strong material, but is subject to damage. This is also true with dental filling materials. Whether you have an amalgam or composite filling, or even if you have a dental crown, damage and breakage can occur. This can be due to chewing on hard items such as ice or non-edible materials, or it can just be due to age. Occasionally, dental fillings need to be refreshed and replaced.
Amalgam or Composite?
Dental fillings are categorized as either amalgam or composite. Other materials are available for partial and full dental crowns. All materials can have breakage occur, though some have a longer life expectancy. We can discuss the benefits of each material specific to the work that you are having completed.
Amalgam is the more traditional material used for dental fillings. It has a long history of being durable. Amalgam is a blend of metal that is bonded with a small amount of mercury. It is known for its dark silver coloring and works well for chewing surfaces because of its durability. Many people like its strength but are unhappy about its dark coloring and the fact that it contains trace amounts of mercury. It should be noted that the amount of mercury used has been tested and evaluated and fits within safety parameters set by the ADA.
Composite has quickly become the more popular choice in dental fillings. It is a blend of crushed quartz and resin bonded together, and is able to be shaded to match your teeth in coloring. In addition, composite is able to adhere to your teeth, unlike amalgam, meaning we only need to remove the decayed portion of the enamel before we restore your tooth. Amalgam requires that we reshape the tooth prior to placement. In decades past, composite was not considered as strong as amalgam, but with upgrades in materials, today’s product is far superior to past composite materials making it a much more equal match in durability. Composite is an excellent choice for most, because it requires less tooth preparation and it can hide in your mouth giving you a perfect look.
Dental Bonding with Composite Filling
In addition to filling cavities and repairing decayed areas of your enamel, composite filling material can be used to make simple repairs to your enamel. We can fill chips, repair cracks, and fix breakage.