For decades, amalgam fillings were the gold (or should we say silver) standard of tooth fillings. These silver fillings were made of a combination of metals, including mercury, and were used by just about any dentist who performed fillings. As more was learned about the negative effects of mercury on one’s health and as dental technologies, materials, and techniques advanced, tooth-colored composite fillings began to gain popularity. Today, composite fillings have effectively replaced amalgam fillings as the most widely used filling material among dentists worldwide. In North York, Ontario, Dr. Reza N. Roodsar is no exception. Dr. Roodsar and his team at Respond Dental recognize the many benefits white composite fillings offer over amalgam fillings of the past.
Before we get to the functional aspects of why a composite filling is a better form of filling than amalgam, let us look at it purely from a cosmetic viewpoint. Amalgam fillings are incredibly noticeable, often silver in color, and can lead to tooth and gum discoloration over time. Composite fillings are closely matched to your tooth so that they are far harder to notice and result in a natural appearance.
Next, as was briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article, amalgam fillings contain mercury. While some argue the negative effects mercury has on the body in small amounts, studies show that mercury can negatively affect one’s health when exposed over time, even in small quantities such as what would be in an amalgam filling.
Finally, amalgam fillings are not bonded to the tooth. Instead, it is just plugged into the hold, and the margins are not sealed. This, in combination with how amalgam fillings react to cold and hot temperatures by expanding and contracting, will likely weaken the tooth over time. A composite filling is bonded to the tooth, creating a solid reinforcement that will last many years.