Tooth Colored Fillings

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"Tooth-colored fillings"

Long ago, amalgams or "silver" fillings were the standard of care in dentistry. Although amalgam is still used a great deal today, newer reliable materials, such as composites, allow for a more esthetic smile-enhancing result. Thanks to years of dental research driven largely by patient’s desire for more beautiful smiles, composite resins now serve as an excellent option for replacement of missing tooth structure.

Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling that actually bonds to the tooth.  They are sometimes referred to as composites or bonded-resins.  These restorations provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to mid-sized restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure.

Amalgam "silver fillings"

Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements.  Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth where chewing load is greatest. Amalgam is also useful in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line.

Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. However, the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth.

While questions have arisen about the safety of dental amalgam relating to its mercury content, the major U.S. and international scientific and health bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, among others have stressed that dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material.  The FDA released this article on July 28, 2009, ruling that amalgams were safe and classified them as a Class II dental device (the same classification as composite fillings).

Drs. Limbaugh and Stephenson are dentists providing dental procedures such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, teeth whitening, dental implants, and porcelain veneers in Huntsville.
Dr. Limbaugh and Dr. Stephenson are licensed as general dentists in the State of Alabama.