Eventually, most patients will require some form of dental restoration, with the removal of decay and filling of cavities being the most common. After removing small amounts of decay, we will then fill the space with filling material to restore the tooth's function. Dr. Kooning, along with our team at Kooning Family Dentistry, can restore the health and function of your teeth with composite dental fillings.
Amalgam and Composite ComparisonWhen the tooth enamel has been damaged from decay, and holes or cavities are now present following the removal of decay, we can strengthen the tooth and restore its function by filling the space with dental fillings. There are two commonly used dental materials that we use to fill that space. Dentistry is a constantly evolving and advancing science that has new materials being developed to benefit everyone. There are pros and cons with both filling materials, overall, the breakdown of the two materials is as follows:
Amalgam FillingTraditionally, most dentists used amalgam fillings when making repairs on teeth, often noted by its silver coloring. The material used in amalgam is a blend of mercury that has been mixed with silver, tin and copper. Using metal materials makes for a strong and very durable filling material. Mercury, which makes up about half of the blended compound, is used to bind the metals together. This information can sometimes bring concern from patients, especially if being used on their children. The levels of mercury used is considered within the safe limits imposed through the American Dental Association, however at Kooning Family Dentistry we only use composite fillings.
The pro to amalgam is its strength and durability. Most restorations made with amalgam last several years. The average lifespan of an amalgam filling is 12 years. The cons to amalgam is its color and the fact that it does not bond with the tooth, meaning that the dentist has to remove enough of the tooth to allot for the resting of the material.
Composite FillingComposite filling is a tooth colored material that is used to fill holes after the removal of decay and can also be used to make simple repairs to teeth including cracks and chips. This filling material is made from a blend of quartz and a sticky resin that is insoluble in water and bonds with the quartz and the tooth, making for a strong and durable hold. Composite has somewhat of a bad rap of not being as durable, based off of old information. In the past decade, composite material has improved in its strength enough to allow the use of composite in both front or back teeth.
The pro of composite material is it's ability to be tinted to match the color of your teeth. This allows the restoration to be hidden in your mouth. The con to composite filling is that it is a more expensive option, and many dental insurances will not pay for composite on teeth that can not be easily seen.
Schedule Your Filling AppointmentOur team is here to serve all of your dental needs, including restoring your teeth with dental fillings. For more information, contact Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC, his front office staff is happy to answer your questions, review your insurance, and schedule consultations or appointments with you. Call our Lake Oswego office today at (503) 675-4594