You begin to yawn and then quickly raise your hand to conceal your mouth. While this is something done in all polite society, you may have also done that because you are sensitive about your mouth full of “silver” fillings. These are also known as amalgam fillings.
So, what are the alternatives? There are two very common and safe ways of filling teeth that are being treated for cavities or fractures and cracks. They are:
- Tooth colored fillings – These are resin or composite fillings that are a mixture of materials such as glass and plastic. They are custom built around and inside of a tooth while the patient is in the dental office (usually requiring only a single visit) and are polished and sealed to give the tooth an entirely natural appearance.
- Laboratory made fillings – These require two visits to the dental office. The first is to get the filling work done and to place a temporary crown or cover. Over the course of a couple of weeks, a laboratory takes the mold of the tooth and makes a porcelain crown, inlay, or onlay that will be positioned at the second visit.
What is the difference? Essentially, the dental expert is the only one that can say which is the best option. The choice between a composite or inlay should not be made based on cost or convenience. It is always the health of the tooth that matters the most and a dental professional will explain the reasoning for their recommendations. Rather than removing a tooth, it is always best to have it repaired and mended and the modern “take” is to choose between the composite or inlay rather than using amalgam.