Have you ever been talking to a Hendricks County neighbor when you noticed something silver in their mouth? Chances are your neighbor has a dental amalgam filling – otherwise known as a silver-colored filling.
Dental amalgam is a filling material made from a combination of metals that include elemental mercury, silver, tin and copper. An amalgam is formed when the elemental mercury reacts with and binds together the silver, tin and copper particles.
Dentists like Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County, use dental amalgam fillings to repair the tooth structure and biting surface of a tooth that’s been destroyed by decay. Amalgam fillings have been used for over 100 years and more than 1 billion amalgam fillings a year are placed by dentists.
Benefits of Dental Amalgam Fillings
Some of the benefits of receiving this type of filling are:
- The amalgam hardens quickly which is useful in places like the gum line where it’s hard to keep dry.
- Since it hardens faster, dental amalgam is a good choice for children and individuals with special needs who may have difficulty sitting still during treatment.
- It’s durable, especially when filling large cavities or cavities in the back teeth.
- It holds up well to the forces of biting, especially in the back molars.
- Dental amalgam fillings are less costly than gold, porcelain or composite resin restorations.
- Amalgam fillings are easier for Dr. Erickson to work with and typically only take one dental visit to complete.
Drawbacks of Dental Amalgam Fillings
Some drawbacks of getting an amalgam filling are:
- It’s not natural looking, since it’s a gray or silver color.
- Dr. Erickson may need to remove more of your tooth to place the filling, compared to what might be required for other types of fillings.
- It may darken as it wears away over time.
- It may cause temporary sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages, since the metal can conduct hot and cold temperatures.
At Danville Family Dentistry, we still offer our Hendricks County patients the option to have an amalgam filling instead of other types of fillings like resin. We believe it’s your decision to make based on your preferences, circumstances and budget. If you have any questions about dental amalgam fillings, please ask our staff.