If you have a cavity in one of your back teeth, then you will need to have the decay removed and replaced with a filling. There are several different types of filling materials that can be used to repair your tooth. While composite resin is often used and chosen by both dentists and patients, amalgam or silver fillings are also sometimes still placed in teeth. This is common in load-bearing areas like the back teeth. If you want to know how the silver filling can benefit you, keep reading.
They Seal The Tooth
If you have a larger cavity in your tooth, then your dentist may need to place a significantly sized filling. When composites are used, resin is placed in the holes and built up to create the filling. In this situation, your dentist may inadvertently leave a small opening around the resin where bacteria can gather around the tooth. This can cause a cavity to form underneath the filling or it can cause sensitivity across the tooth.
One of the ways that an opening can develop around a resin composite filling is when saliva gets on the tooth and interrupts the filling process. This is not an issue with the amalgam, and thus the filling process does not need to be completed in a completely dry environment. This helps with the creation of a strong filling and it prevents weak spots. Also, sealers are placed on amalgam fillings to prevent corrosion. These products seal gaps around the filling materials as well, so micro cracks do not form. This creates a barrier against bacteria infiltration.
They Are More Durable
One of the major benefits of amalgam fillings is their ability to wear better than resin ones. However, it should be noted that composite formulations are adjusted and changed all the time. This means that they may have greater wearability in the future.
Amalgam wears better because it is a softer and more pliable material. When you bite down on the amalgam, the filling tolerates pressure and stress without cracking. This is not something that you see with resin. Resin composites will chip and crack over time and a new filling may be needed.
Amalgam fillings wear away slowly, so you will need to have them checked and replaced when there is a need. Also, you may need to invest in a new filling once the corrosion resistant coating starts to wear off. However, you should understand that fillings will generally last 10 to 15 years. Contact a company like Plymouth Valley Dental Group to learn more.