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by John R. Treinen, DDS

What are Common Materials used for Dental Fillings?

In todays dental practice, there are only two materials used for dental fillings: composite resin and silver amalgam.  Although you often hear the term "porcelain fillings", tooth colored fillings are all composed of composites.  While in its early form composites were not as durable as silver fillings, recent breakthroughs in technology have given us a very durable and long-lasting restoration that is quite esthetic.   While silver amalgam fillings are still deemed safe by the American Dental Association, their mercury content make them a less desirable option. 

Should I have my Silver Fillings Replaced?

As stated above, silver amalgam fillings are deemed safe by the American Dental Association.  There have been many claims that silver fillings can cause neurological and autoimmune disorders, this has not been substantiated by mainstream peer reviewed studies.  My advice to patients is that the replacement of the amalgams is an option procedure that can be done if the patient is concerned about the mercury content or justs wants fillings that are more esthetic.  When it is time to replace silver fillings due to recurrent decay of failure of the filling, then it is desirable to use a composite filling.

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