Traditional silver metal (or amalgam) fillings are a combination of silver shavings, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury which became a popular choice for their durability and affordability in the repair of teeth affected by decay, cracks or fractures for the last 150 years. However, there are now a broader range of choices available with white fillings (also known as composite resin fillings or tooth coloured fillings); a virtually invisible, long lasting, safer alternative that can be expertly matched by our dentists to the colour of your teeth. White fillings have been the exclusive choice for all of our dental work since 1999, with a beautiful, silver-less smile now available to you - just for the asking!
At Hobsonville Point Dental, we believe composite resin offers a more effective filling material than amalgam. Here’s why.
White fillings are made from acrylic and glass particles, contain no toxic substances, they can seal your tooth, and stabilize its structure far more effectively than amalgam. Developed from materials that effectively bond to your tooth tissue from the inside, white (or composite fillings) strengthen your teeth and provide restorations that last for many years. Composites are created in smaller preparations; which results in less loss of tooth structure due to the reduction in the tooth removal required as compared to amalgam or mercury based fillings. Amalgam fillings are held in place with mechanical locks and undercuts. This mechanical retention is not required with composite resin fillings as it actually bonds to tooth. Once bonded, the composite filling retains its shape over time and will wear at a similar rate to your own tooth, ensuring your dental repair remains stable and secure.
Significantly less temperature-sensitive than amalgam, white fillings remain stable when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drinks. The metals in amalgam fillings expand and contract when exposed to temperature which can result in tiny cracks in the surrounding tooth or between the filling and natural tooth structure. The outcome? Tiny stress cracks eventually become bigger structural fractures resulting in tooth loss and or cracked cusp syndrome. Also the gaps around amalgam fillings enable bacterial reinvasion and secondary decay.
There is concern by some over the potential toxicity of mercury, as recent testing has identified that very small amounts of mercury (in vapour form) can be released as the amalgam filling wears. While both NZ health officials & the FDA consider dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above - research continues.
If you are allergic to metals used in dental amalgam, discuss options for an alternative filling material with our dental team.
And remember that although composites or white fillings are primarily used to restore decayed teeth, they are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing tooth colour or reshaping disfigured teeth.
To learn more about the choices you can make for cosmetic solutions or repair to your teeth, call or contact us today.
Hobsonville Point Dental
160 Hobsonville Point Road, Hobsonville Point, Auckland 0618
09 320 0504 firstname.lastname@example.org