A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
A visit to the dentist will reveal if you have any cavities or not; and if you do, the dentist will want to remove and fill them. When you find out that you have a cavity, your dentist might give you the choice of getting an amalgam filling or a composite filling. An amalgam filling is a silver filling, and dentists have been using amalgam fillings for many years. Composite fillings are white and are extremely common today, but here are two reasons you may want to choose an amalgam filling over a composite filling.
They Are More Durable
When you need a filling, the first thing to find out is what your options are. Both amalgam and composite fillings can be used for fillings in molar teeth, but composite fillings are almost always used to fill cavities in front teeth. This is because composite fillings are made of a plastic material that can be colored to match the shade of your teeth, and most people do not want silver fillings on their front teeth. Even when composite fillings are used to fill cavities in molar teeth, it is simply for looks, and looks are more important to some people than durability.
If you are more interested in getting a filling that is durable for a molar tooth, choosing an amalgam filling is the better option. Amalgam fillings are made up of silver, tin, copper, and mercury, and this is why they are silver in color. Even though they contain mercury, they are completely safe for use as fillings in teeth. It's also important to know that dentists are able to place amalgam fillings in faster than composite fillings because amalgam is an easier material to work with.
If you want to choose the best filling material for your cavity, you can do so by comparing the differences between how long each type of filling is designed to last. When you make this comparison, you will see how much stronger amalgam fillings are. On average, an amalgam filling will last around 12 years; however, studies show that there have been times when they have lasted up to 50 years. On the other hand, a composite filling will last for around five years.
One of the reasons this is true is due to the way composite material can shrink in size. Amalgam material does not shrink or move at all. Once the filling is placed in the tooth, it will not move. The materials used for composite fillings are not nearly as solid, and they can allow moisture to get behind them more so than amalgam fillings.
They Are Less Expensive
Not only do amalgam fillings last longer, but they are also less expensive than composite fillings. In fact, if you compare the costs of amalgam fillings to any other type of filling you could choose from, amalgam fillings will be the cheapest option of all.
The average cost to fill a back tooth with an amalgam filling is around $132. To fill a similar tooth with a composite filling, you should expect to pay around $170. Before you choose an option, you may want to find out what types of fillings your dental insurance covers, just in case your insurance covers only one of the options.
Dental fillings are one of the most common dental services around, and they are the perfect way to save teeth that have decay in them. If you have a cavity and would like to find out all your options for filling it, contact a dentist at an office like Plymouth Valley Dental Group today to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs.