Amalgam Vs Composite Restoration: Longevity, Controversy, Eating
Tooth fillings are used to repair holes in the teeth and to reconstruct otherwise damaged areas on the teeth. Which filling material the dentist uses depends, among other things, on the size of the hole to be repaired: The tooth itself must still have enough substance to hold the filling. This is particularly important for molars that are exposed to great stress from chewing movements and pressure. Finally, aesthetics and costs also play a role in the selection of the tooth filling. In the article below we explain advantages and disadvantages of amalgam and Composite.
Amalgam Vs Composite Filling Longevity & Strength
Amalgam is an extremely durable material. Dental amalgams are made with robust components, which makes these fillings very durable. The material is able to withstand high levels of wear and tear over the long term. As a rule, amalgam fillings can last up to 20 years before they have to be replaced with a new one.
Amalgam has been used in dental fillings for over 100 years. In comparison to its successor, dental amalgam have shown to withstand the test of time, as they can last up to eight to ten years, and sometimes, even more. By far, they are the best option to fill cavities located in the back of the mouth, as the area is constantly getting wet.
Marginal integrity of amalgam filling is very durable and does not wear with strong force of chewing even in posterior back teeth. However, with an average of 7 to 10 years, the durability of a composite tooth filling is significantly lower than that of amalgam.
In the case of composite fillings, for example, due to the higher degree of shrinkage during hardening, microcracks can arise between filling and tooth surface. At these points, caries can attack the tooth. With amalgam, on the other hand, an optimal seal to the tooth substance is usually achieved.
Keep biting hard. Amalgam can withstand chewing forces well, especially in the molar area . Due to the longevity and resilience of amalgam fillings, patients can chew most foods well and persistently. You don't have to worry about the filling breaking compared to other restorations with ceramic or composite fillings.
Amalgam Vs composite Restorations Cost
Amalgam is affordable. One of the main reasons people choose dental amalgams over other dental fillings is that they are very inexpensive. This makes it an ideal option for people who want to cover tooth decay quickly and with affordability in mind.
The health insurance companies cover the cost of composite restorations in the anterior region. The invisible posterior areas incur additional costs that the patient has to bear himself. However, the dentist will inform the patient of this in advance.
Amalgam Vs Composite| Eating After Procedure
Amalgam restorations gains strength over a period of 24 hours and during this time it can not withstand the chewing forces during eating. Dentists advise patients to avoid eating and chewing on the Amalgam side for a day.
Composite filling gets strength immediately after placement in the tooth cavity and no restrictions are there for eating hard food immediately after filling procedure.
Amalgam VS composite filling Aesthetics
When choosing the filling, aesthetics play a major role today. Ceramic or composite is similar to the tooth color. Unlike amalgam, composite can be produced in different shades, which allows adaptation to the natural tooth color. This enables a very aesthetic treatment result.
For this reason, the material is particularly suitable for the anterior teeth. Materials of different colors such as gold or amalgam are therefore only used in the back of the mouth.
Composite Vs Amalgam| Health Safety, Controversy
The question of the ingestion of mercury from amalgam filling into the body remains open, and is also the subject of discussions among specialists in various fields of medicine. Mercury, as already mentioned, is a heavy metal, which at high concentrations can cause poisoning of the human body.
However, according to the latest research from the World Health Organization (WHO), even eight or ten installed amalgam fillings cannot harm the human body. The British Dental Association in its latest research reports that the causal relationship between the use of amalgam in dentistry and general health problems have not been identified !!!
Amalgam Vs Composite| Conclusion
Amalgam fillings are known for their durability and long service life. Although they are now considered outdated and unaesthetic, they are still part of the standard care of the statutory health insurance companies. New materials with very good properties can replace these fillings.
if the amalgam filling is visible when you open your mouth and you are not satisfied with its appearance, then you should replace it with a more modern light-cured composite filling or inlay. If you are more worried about the toxicity of the material, then there is nothing to worry about and you should not change the amalgam fillings.