Composite Fillings Benefits
Composite fillings offer a number of benefits over silver amalgam fillings, which contain mercury and are considered by many to be toxic.
- Composite materials can restore and strengthen the teeth; silver fillings actually weaken the tooth because the metal can expand and contract based on temperature changes, making the tooth more prone to breakage.
- Dentists do not have to remove as much of your natural tooth structure when prepping it for the composite fillings, whereas the hole required for silver fillings is significantly larger.
- White fillings improve the health of teeth without marring their appearance with dark fillings.
- There is less post-treatment pain and sensitivity associated with use of composite materials versus silver fillings.
Composite Fillings Risks and Side Effects
There are no known health risks associated with use of composite fillings. However, some patients do experience mild discomfort in the days following the procedure. Patients can expect to feel some pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, especially in the first week or two after treatment.
In the past, use of metal fillings to treat cavities was common in the United States. Since composite, or tooth-colored fillings, were developed and made available to consumers in the 1990s, dentists and patients have come to prefer composite filler materials over silver amalgam fillers for a range of reasons. However, some patients find that silver fillings are sufficient and dentists do still use this material to treat teeth damaged by decay.