At DeForest Dental, we treat you like family. That is, we will not recommend any treatment within your mouth that we would not diagnose and treat the same way on a family member. Amalgam (“silver”) fillings are still done by many practicing dentists; however, over the last several decades the advancement of resin (“white”) fillings has dramatically grown. Although we do not recommend replacing all “old” amalgam fillings with resin fillings, we do recommend using resin bonding for treatment performed today.
Amalgam is mostly composed of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50% of the compound, is necessary to bind the metals together. Since amalgam is composed of metals, it expands and contracts when in contact with hot and cold temperatures, which often causes microleakage and tooth fracture. Microleakage occurs over time as the amalgam filling pulls away from the tooth structure, leaving a space where food and bacteria become trapped and cause decay. This is a microscopic event and cannot be prevented by thorough brushing and flossing. Amalgam is a controversial substance that is always up for discussion in dental forums and continuing education.
With the advancement of resins over the last several decades, it is becoming the treatment of choice for most patients. Resin strength and stability for posterior (back) teeth is now a proven commodity. Resin fillings have properties closer to that of natural tooth structure. They bond to the tooth, preventing microleakage and offer more conservative tooth removal when decay is removed. Amaglam and resin fillings offer very similar, if not the same, life span in a person’s mouth. Our composite resin products are BPA free and are the best we have to offer our patients at this time in the evolving world of dentistry!