Amalgam and Tooth-colored Fillings in Medina

September 20, 2016

Tooth-colored fillings in Medina repair decayDo you have fillings in your teeth? If so, they may be made from silver-colored amalgam or tooth-colored composite resin. Both have successful track records with your Medina dentist, Dr. Allan J. Milewski. Learn the differences between amalgam and tooth-colored fillings in Medina.

A Word About Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is basically a hole in tooth enamel. Left untreated, it continues to enlarge, traveling deeper into inner tooth layers and eventually into the center of the tooth where soft pulp resides. Infection can result and without prompt root canal therapy to heal the infection, extraction may be inevitable.

So, semi-annual cleanings and exams with Dr. Allan J. Milewski reduce your chances of developing cavities. Cleanings remove bacteria-filled plaque and hard tartar, the main culprits in tooth decay and gum disease. Routine exams and X-rays find decay at its earliest stages when it can be treated most conservatively.

When Restoration is Necessary

Despite our best efforts, cavities do happen. As such, Dr. Milewski and his team offer two kinds of fillings: silver-colored, or amalgam, and tooth-colored, or composite resin. Both have their place in the world of modern restorative dentistry. Which should you use for a dental cavity? You and your dentist will decide which material is best for your particular tooth and oral health.

What is Amalgam?

Amalgam is a silvery blend of many metals: mercury, tin, copper and others. Used for generations, amalgam repairs decay in many areas of the mouth, but is best used in back teeth where the crushing forces of chewing are at their greatest.

Typically, amalgam is stronger than tooth-colored composite resin, and it lasts longer, too. However, it is unattractive if placed in the front of the mouth because of its dark metallic appearance. It also requires more enamel removal to secure it within the tooth structure.

Most notably, people worry about amalgam because of its mercury content. However, the American Dental Association says it is complete inert within the amalgam mixture and perfectly safe for patients over the age of six.

What is Composite Resin?

Also used to repair small chips, cracks and gaps, composite resin is an innovative mixture of acrylic and glass. Varying in shades of color to match natural tooth enamel, tooth-colored fillings are aesthetically pleasing and almost impossible to notice. So, they are usable in any area of the mouth.

While not at as strong as amalgam, composite resin is still very durable. It bonds directly to tooth enamel during a special layering and curing process. To place a white filling, Dr. Milewski removes only the decayed portion of the tooth; so the preparation process is more enamel-sparing than with amalgam fillings.

Do You Need a Filling?

Discuss the differences between these two materials with your dentist. He will be happy to explain the plusses and minuses of each. Either way, count on a restoration just right for your smile. Contact Dr. Allan J. Milewski to arrange your restorative dentistry consultation.

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