Composite vs Amalgam Fillings

Composite Resin vs Amalgam Fillings

Over the history of dental work, scientists and dentists have experimented with a wide range of filling materials, including pure gold and even beeswax. However, two manmade materials have stood out as clear frontrunners: silver amalgam and tooth-colored composite resin. Each variety of filling material carries its own list of benefits and drawbacks, and it is ultimately up to you as the parent to decide which variety is best for your child with the help of Smile Time Kids. 

The entire staff at Smile Time Kids LOVES children. We enjoy their budding personalities and their constant search for answers. We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us. Call us today at 765-373-3100 with any questions you have regarding your child or stop by Smile Time Kids at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN, 47374.Here is more information about amalgam and composite resin filling material, along with a list of the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Deciding Between Filling Materials

After your child is diagnosed with dental caries, our staff will talk with you about each filling material to help you to decide which is best. Composite resin fillings are usually recommended for front teeth or areas that are highly visible, and amalgam might be recommended for back molars, which experience much more bite force. As your child’s dentist, we will also work hard to make sure that your child remains happy and comfortable throughout their dental exam and subsequent treatment. Contact Children’s Dental Center for an appointment today!

Information about Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam consists of an alloy of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Used for over 150 years, dental amalgam is one of the most studied materials in modern dentistry, and it has been improved over the years to be safer and more durable than ever before.

The Benefits of Amalgam Fillings

  • Economical- Amalgam is less expensive than other filling materials. Because of their low price, amalgam fillings are often used for children’s teeth, since aesthetics are of less concern and baby teeth fall out and are gone by the time your child is 12.
  • Durable- Another huge benefit of amalgam fillings is that they are incredibly durable. Research has shown that amalgam fillings have an average life expectancy of 12.8 years, compared with 7.8 years for composite resin fillings. However, with proper care and maintenance, amalgams have been shown to last for decades.
  • Less Sensitive to Moisture- Dental amalgam is easier for Children’s Dental Center to place because it is less sensitive to moisture.

The Drawbacks of Amalgam Fillings

  • Dark Colored- Amalgam fillings are silver, but they tend to darken over time. Eventually, amalgam can look black, which resembles the original cavities they were meant to correct.
  • Tarnish and Stains- Amalgam material can leach out into the teeth, leaving behind “amalgam tattoos” that can make your child’s teeth look silvery gray.
  • Mercury Concerns- Although the American Dental Association has deemed amalgam fillings to be completely safe, some parents have concerns about the mercury present in amalgam fillings.

Information about Composite Fillings

Composite resin material is made up of ground white porcelain and durable resins. To place composite resin fillings, the decay is gently removed, the area is cleaned and dried, then the composite resin is sculpted into place. A tiny UV light is used to cure the filling immediately, leaving your child with a beautiful, natural looking smile.

The Benefits of Composite Resin Fillings

  • Cure Instantly- Composite resin fillings cure instantly with a UV light, allowing the material to bond directly with your child’s tooth.
  • A Tighter Bond- Unlike amalgam fillings, which are held in place by the shape of the cavity, composite resins bond with the tooth itself. This means less wiggle room for decay to creep in, as well as a stronger tooth structure after the procedure.

The Drawbacks of Composite Resin Fillings

  • Lifespan- Composite resin fillings have a shorter lifespan than traditional amalgam fillings, largely because they do not “self-seal” over time like amalgam fillings do.

Make an Appointment for Your Child Today!

Smile Time Kids would like to share the recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They suggest bringing your child in for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by the time your child is one, whichever occurs first. We will work with your child and treat them like family. We love happy and healthy children. Afterwards, children should visit at normal intervals just like you would schedule your own dental checkups. Call 765-373-3100 today to make an appointment with Smile Time Kids. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us keep your child healthy together.