What's right for me?
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and expense of dental restorations, including:
- The components used in the filling material
- The amount of tooth structure remaining
- Where and how the filling is placed
- The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
- The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in one appointment.
Composite fillings do not contain mercury - unlike amalgam fillings; which do contain mercury. This allows us to remove less of the affercted tooth when using composite fillings, so we can preserve more healthy tooth structure. Amalgam fillings will also expand and contract with hot and cold food/beverages, which over time can cause stress cracks in the surrounding tooth structure, and eventually breakage if cracks become too large. Composite restorations will not expand or contract, allowing for a stronger and longer lasting smile.