Restoring Teeth and Fillings
  • Restore teeth affected by decay, cracks or fractures
  • Options include Composite and Amalgam fillings
  • Each type of material has specific advantages
  • Dr. Stephenson will discuss the best restorative option for you

Fillings are used to repair teeth that are affected by decay, cracks, or fractures. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth is removed and then filled with either a composite (tooth-colored) filling or amalgam (silver) filling. Each type of filling material has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Stephenson is happy to discuss with you the best options for restoring your teeth.

Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings

Composite fillings are often preferred because they can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. For this reason, they are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. Composite fillings are very durable and can be used in any area of the mouth. Composite fillings are different from amalgam fillings because they are bonded to the tooth. This process makes the composite filling very strong and often allows for less tooth structure to be removed when preparing the tooth for the filling. As with all dental restorations, they need to be checked on a regular basis.

Amalgam (silver) Fillings

Amalgam is the most thoroughly tested and researched restorative material used in dentistry. Dentists have been using amalgam fillings for more than a century. Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. 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. Amalgam is very durable and highly resistant to wear. Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high pressure from chewing, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth where the chewing load is greatest.