Tooth Color (Composite) Filling vs Silver (Amalgam) Filling
Composite and amalgam fillings are the two most widely used filling materials. Composite resin is made of tooth Color filling while silver filling is made of mainly silver and mercury. Even though there is no scientific evidence to prove that the mercury in silver filling can cause harm in human body, it will nonetheless cause detrimental effects to our environment. That is why the state requires each dental office to implement amalgam collectors to make sure it is disposed of properly. Beside the environmental consideration and though it is relatively inexpensive and easy to handle, there are also other factors which prevent our office from using amalgam fillings. The reasons we only use composite fillings besides the above mentioned factors are: it is much more esthetic, it can bond to the tooth structure so we can minimize tooth drilling (amalgam filling relies on physical design to lock it in place so we often have to drill beyond the extent of the decayed tooth structure and often further weakens the tooth structure), and when combined with a glassionomer, composite filling can release fluoride to promote remineralization of the tooth structure.
Pictured above: Marginal leak from the old filling has caused decay and discoloration.
Pictured above: After complete removal of decay, both teeth are then isolated and new composite filling is inserted.
Discoloration of the old composite filling in the front and a dark shade discoloration can be seen showing on the bottom left of the tooth because of an amalgam filling done on the inside of the tooth
After old amalgam filling on the inside of the tooth from the previous photo was removed and replaced with new composite filling
Pictured above: Tooth is restored after removal of old filling and decay and replaced with new filling material.
Pictured above: After removal of old amalgam filling, secondary decay can be fully seen.
Pictured Above: Final completion of new composite filling
Shown here is the amalgam filling on the inside of the tooth as mentioned in the previous photo
Complete restoration with composite filling of both teeth as shown from the external side