If you have tooth decay your dentist will remove the damaged enamel/dentine and will replace it with a restorative material.
A “filling” can be any size. Dentists use different surfaces to describe the area of the tooth that requires restoration. You may hear them say you need a “two surface filling”. The size and depth of the restoration will dictate the materials used and the length of the appointment time required. There are many and varied types of “filling” materials now available.We usually use a tooth coloured composite filling material. Also available are Glass Ionomer, or hybrid types of filling materials and we may use these in some situations. Each material has different applications.
(In rare circumstances we may use amalgam as in certain situations it is the best material available, your dentist will discuss this with you.)
With all restorations there may be some sensitivity after completion. It is important to contact your dentist if you experience any on going problems.
Amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance.
Amalgam fillings contain mercury, and while there is a very low percentage, some people are concerned about mercury leakage. To date no accurate scientific studies have proven that the amount of mercury released by amalgam fillings is harmful.
Amalgam is a strong and durable material that has proven success especially when used in larger cavities. They are less likely to fail than some other types of materials.
Amalgam is also the least expensive type of filling material.