There are 3 main types of materials that I will use to fill teeth, they each have upsides and downsides and I weigh this in my recommendation to you of which type of material to use.  Over the next 3 blogs I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each.

  • Amalgam – often called “metal” or “silver” fillings.
    1. Upsides:
      1. This is the filling material we’ve had around for the longest, historically it lasts the longest. The silver component is antimicrobial.  The metal will “creep” and re-seal itself to the edges over time.
    2. Downsides:
      1. This material doesn’t bond into the tooth, so we need to shape the tooth in such a way to create “mechanical retention”, in cases when the decay is small this can lead to needed to take away more tooth than would be strictly necessary otherwise.
      2. Being metal it expands and contracts a bit with temperature changes, the combination of this and the shape needed to create the mechanical retention can cause this material to act like a wedge and over time in combination with other forces can create cracks in the tooth. This is particularly a concern in very large fillings.

There are of course more things to consider for every material, but I’m trying to provide a summary of the high points.


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