There are a variety of different materials that are used in filling teeth. The most popular materials used are composite (white or tooth-colored fillings) or amalgam (silver fillings).
Composite fillings are newer than amalgam fillings and are constantly improving. The composite resin is about the consistency of modeling clay. In order for the composite to harden, a bright blue light is used to active a chemical reaction in the composite. This results in the composite hardening into a very strong material that looks very much like a natural tooth.
Amalgam fillings have been in use for over 180 years in the field of dentistry. When the metals in amalgam come together, they form a soft material that can be used to build your tooth back to its original form. After a few minutes, the amalgam begins to harden as the metals integrate together. Many studies have shown that dental amalgam is a safe, and time tested filling material.
Ultimately, it is our patient’s decision as to which filling material they select. We are always happy to discuss which material is right for you.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.