To repair a cavity, your dentist may recommend an amalgam filling. Amalgam fillings, or “silver” fillings, are strong and long-lasting. They typically work best for small holes on the tops of back teeth cavities, and areas below the gumline. If you think you have a cavity, schedule an appointment at Red Bank Smiles today for friendly, high-quality treatment.
Amalgam fillings are very effective at repairing tooth decay and have been used by dentists for more than 150 years. They’re made from a mixture of metals, including liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper. These fillings are a safe option for both adults and children over the age of six. Because amalgam fillings are silver colored, they are noticeable on the teeth.
We typically use amalgam fillings for cavities that are too large for composite fillings, which are more natural in color. Other restorative treatment options for large cavities include inlays, onlays and crowns. When you come in for your appointment, we’ll discuss all available options to help you select the best one for your needs.
Getting an amalgam filling is a relatively quick process. We’ll provide anesthetics and/or pain relievers to help you feel as comfortable as possible before, during and after the procedure. It’s common to experience some tooth sensitivity after getting a metal filling. Here’s what to expect:
- The dentist will drill your tooth to remove decay
- The cavity is then shaped and prepared to receive the filling
- The dentist places and shapes the putty-like amalgam filling in the cavity
After it’s placed, the material will quickly harden into a solid filling. Because it’s so strong and hard, it can withstand the force of chewing and generally lasts at least 10 to 15 years.