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The Dental Filling You Cannot See

Posted on 3/20/2023 by Dr. Castellon
The Dental Filling You Cannot SeeIt's likely that you've heard the terms, cavity, and caries. The cavity is the space that is left after removing the decayed portion of a tooth. Usually, when you have tooth decay, it has to be removed whereby a cavity is left and it is filled immediately by a dentist in order to prevent further tooth degradation. Caries is a clinical dental term that refers to decay in a tooth. Caries are considered the most common type of oral disease. When it comes to filling a cavity, a dentist uses different kinds of materials. Today composite resin fillings are becoming popular because they look discreet, unlike the silver-based fillings that will show in your mouth.

Mercury in Your Mouth?

You may think that silver fillings are actually made of silver, however, they mostly comprise mercury. These fillings are fabricated from silver amalgam. Dentists mix about 50 percent of mercury with 50 percent powder of silver, copper, zinc, or tin. Although you have a filling made of a mixture containing mercury, there is no harm that the mercury can cause to your mouth or body. The FDA has studied these fillings and considers them safe. They have even been used to fill cavities since the 1800s.

Downsides of Amalgam Fillings

First, silver fillings are not aesthetically appealing. Everyone can see them when you open your mouth. Also, the edges of these fillings can wear down or become weak or even break. When this happens, decay can occur again. They can also leak, corrode, or stain the adjacent teeth or even expand and contract, causing them to split or crack the tooth.

Composite Resin Fillings

Today, many people are opting for tooth-colored fillings because they are more discreet. These comprise a mixture of glass and plastic and they bond to teeth in layers. Composite resin fillings are structurally strong and create a tight, superior fit. A downside with composite resin fillings is that they are not as durable as silver amalgam fillings, however, it's not a very big difference. If you have a sensitive tooth, visit our office for evaluation.

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