Choosing Between Amalgam and Composite Dental Fillings in Chicago
Most people; about 91 percent of adults between 20 and 64 in the U.S.; have had cavities at some point during their lifetimes. Untreated cavities lead to pain and tooth loss, so having cavities means getting dental fillings in Chicago. Patients can usually decide between silver amalgam fillings or tooth-colored composite fillings. Each type has its pros and cons.
Amalgam fillings usually cost less than composite fillings, which can cost 1.5 to 2 times more depending on the dentist. Insurance often doesn’t cover the cost of a filling beyond the price of an amalgam filling. It’s also easier to place amalgam fillings in the back of the mouth, and they may last slightly longer, especially with larger fillings. They are unattractive and more noticeable than composite fillings, however, and the contain mercury. The American Dental Association concluded the mercury in these fillings isn’t dangerous, but some people prefer to decrease their exposure to this potentially harmful metal. Amalgam fillings are best suited when a lower-cost solution is needed, when cavities are in the rear teeth, and when cavities are very large, but there are alternatives for those who prefer to avoid them. These alternatives tend to be more expensive, though.
With composite Dental Fillings in Chicago, the fillings are tooth-colored, so they’re more aesthetically pleasing. The dentist doesn’t need to remove as much of the tooth surrounding the cavity, and the composites make tooth fractures less likely. Heat and cold are also less likely to bother the teeth. The fillings last between seven and ten years, and cracked fillings may be able to be repaired without removing the whole filling. Dentists can have difficulties placing these fillings in the back of the mouth because the hole being filled needs to be kept totally dry. These fillings, like real teeth, may become stained from coffee, tea, or other foods that can cause discoloration. Composite fillings are best suited for smaller cavities, cavities in the more visible front teeth, and for people for whom appearance is particularly important.
Visit Windy City Family Dental for more information on filling options. They can handle all of your dental care needs.