1. Complete exams, x-rays, and cleanings
2. Fillings, root canals, and extraction
3. Cosmetic dentistry, such as whitening
4. Crowns, bridges, full and partial dentures
When the tooth develops a cavity, it needs to be restored with a filling.
Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration. Teeth can be filled with gold, silver amalgam, or tooth-colored plastic materials called composite resin fillings.
Silver amalgam restorations:
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients around the world. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper.
Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance. Despite the name, "silver fillings" do contain elemental mercury.
Dental amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting, so they are less likely to break than some other types of fillings.
Dental amalgam is the least expensive type of filling material.
Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys.
Amalgam fillings are silver-colored and do not look as natural as a tooth-colored filling, especially when the restoration is near the front of the mouth. Also, the dentist may need to remove a larger part of the tooth to place an amalgam filling compared to other kinds of fillings.
Tooth colored filling uses a composite or glass ionomer resin which is bonded to the tooth surface. The resin can be sculpted to the perfect shape before being hardened and polished.
What is a Composite Resin (White Filling)?
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.