While everyone wants to come away from the dentist with a clean bill of health, cavities can be a reality, even for those with a sterling toothbrushing routine. Fortunately, if caught early enough, a simple filling will restore the affected area back to normal.  

Cavities form when decay penetrates the surface enamel and starts to break down the dentin of the tooth. Cavities (also known as caries) must be filled with a restorative material to preserve the tooth. There are two types of common filling materials: Composite/Resin and Amalgam/Silver.

Composite/Resin fillings

When cavities are found toward the front of your mouth, you may find it desirable to have fillings that virtually match the color of your teeth. In these cases, composite/resin is a great option.

Composite/Resin refers to tooth-colored fillings that are typically used when aesthetics are involved. As any type of filling material, composite/resin has its pros and cons. It works well in the front of the mouth, but often is not feasible in the back of the mouth.

These fillings are very technique sensitive and require the working field to be dry while placing. As you can imagine, the back of the mouth at times can be very challenging, and sometimes impossible, to keep dry. In these instances, the dentist will recommend a silver/amalgam filling.

They also typically do not last as long as a silver filling and can be quite sensitive for up to months after placing. 

Amalgam fillings

Amalgam fillings are silver-colored fillings that work very well in the back of the mouth. The back of the mouth takes a lot of force and bears the brunt of chewing food. Made from metals such silver, tin, and copper, these types of fillings are able to withstand the daily grind the back of your mouth endures.

Currently, the research states that Amalgam fillings typically last twice as long as composite fillings in the back of the mouth. Additionally, amalgam fillings bring about much less post-operative sensitivity than composite fillings. 

Don't let a cavity linger.

Treating cavities early will cost less of your valuable time and money. Leaving them untreated can lead to bigger problems. The friendly associates at South University Dental in Fargo are happy to serve you. Email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.