Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
The average amalgam (silver) filling is 50% mercury bonded to 30% silver and a bit of copper, tin, and zinc.
We prefer to treat our patients with composite fillings for the following reasons:
1. A tooth-colored filling is stronger because it actually bonds all of the reminaing walls of the tooth together. Because amalgams do not bond to tooth structure, there is a gap between the fillings and the tooth, which significantly decreases the strength of the tooth. This gap provides a pathway for bateria and acids to get into and cause further decay.
2. Amalgam fillings expand and contract so much, they create a wedge in the tooth leading to a weakened tooth structure. The tooth, over time could eventually break apart, leaving the filling as the only remaining portion.
3. We do our best to create beautiful smiles - composite fillings create a brightening, white appearance.
Currently, insurance companies usually cover 80% of amalgam fillings but typically, do not cover 80% of composite fillings. ALthough we realize this might create an increased cost to our patients, we feel that the quality of dental care associated with composite fillings greatly outweighs the added cost incurred.