Fillings repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of teeth. When treating a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with another substance -- that’s why we call it a “filling”. There are multiple options for the material to be used in the filling, the most common of which are composite fillings and amalgam fillings.
A composite filling is also known as a tooth colored filling, since the material used in the filling can be closely matched to the color of your teeth. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities. They are also particularly well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look. These fillings usually last about five years.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver-colored fillings, are made from a combination of metals such as tin, copper, silver and mercury. This combination of metals gives amalgam its renowned strength and durability. These fillings usually last between 10 – 15 years compared to composite fillings. As an added benefit, amalgam fillings are typically more cost effective than composite white fillings.
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