Tony Do D.D.S
8600 Beach Blvd. #105
Buena Park, CA 90620
Office: 714-220-9300

Smile Gallery - Other Procedures -Tooth Color Fillings

Different materials are used to "fill" a cavity in a tooth, give it support, and prevent further decay. There are two commonly used materials for filling teeth today, silver amalgam and composite resin. While silver fillings have been the standard material for many years, they can look unsightly and do have some potential medical concerns.

silver fillings: Silver amalgam has been the filling material of choice for many years. However, a growing number of dentists are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of silver amalgams. Silver fillings are composed of 35% silver, 15% tin, a little trace of zinc, and approximately 50% mercury.

It is the mercury that has these dentists concerned, due to its high level of toxicity. These dentists believe that over time, mercury vapor is released from these fillings, thus endangering the patient.

The American Dental Association states that the mercury in dental amalgam is harmless; however, they recommend that those individuals with a weakened immune system, or mercury allergy should avoid having amalgam fillings put in their mouths.

Silver amalgams are a very durable filling material, and are less expensive than composite resin materials. Silver fillings do have some drawbacks. They are not aesthetically pleasing and over time may cause teeth to turn gray. They also expand as they age, which can cause teeth to crack or break.

comosite resin fillings: Resin fillings are the same natural color as your own teeth. They are often bonded to the tooth, which helps to strengthen it. Composite resin fillings also require the removal of less tooth structure than silver fillings, allowing you to keep more of your natural tooth.

They are more expensive than silver fillings but are considered to be a more conservative treatment due to the fact that they strengthen the tooth.

If you currently have silver fillings, they can be easily replaced with the composite fillings to match your own teeth. If you have a new cavity, your dentist will likely offer you the composite material over silver fillings. The same composite material can be used to improve the overall apperance of your teeth as well, with composite dental bonding.