Most people are familiar with amalgam, or “metal”, fillings. They appear silver in the mouth and are extremely durable, especially for filling large cavities in teeth like molars that bear a great deal of stress. Applying amalgam fillings is a common dental practice that has been around for about 150 years, but has become less popular in the past decade or so. Dental amalgam is composed of various metals including silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury.
Amalgam fillings are a sturdy option for patients but are also visually noticeable in the mouth because of the metallic color. Many patients find this to be distracting and prefer a tooth-colored alternative, especially near the front of the mouth that is exposed when smiling.
Mercury in Amalgam Fillings
Elemental liquid mercury makes up approximately one-half of dental amalgam. Because of the toxicity of mercury in large quantities, many individuals are choosing to have previously placed amalgam fillings replaced with an alternative. In addition, many individuals prefer to avoid placing new dental amalgam when other options are available.
Composite Resin Fillings
Whether you would like to replace amalgam due to an allergy, personal preference, or purely aesthetics, composite resin fillings are an excellent alternative. These fillings are made of durable acrylic resin and are matched to your natural tooth color, so they are much less noticeable than amalgam fillings. This makes composite fillings ideal for use on teeth that are highly visible, such as the front teeth.
It is possible to remove previously placed amalgam fillings in favor of a composite alternative. Amalgam removal is increasingly popular and is a service professionally provided at Nova Dental Center.
Regardless of the type filling material you choose, we’re here to answer any questions you have. Feel free to call our Springfield, Virginia office today to speak to one of our skilled professionals or to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Hoang. We look forward to serving you!