This information is provided to help you make better decisions about the use of materials and tooth restorations in your mouth. Many types of metals are used in dentistry for the replacement and rehabilitation of oral structures. Most of these metals are considered to be inert when placed in the body while others have been criticised as potential toxins or allergens to some people. Plastic and ceramic are used commonly as tooth restoratives and have not had adverse biologic responses.

Which type of tooth restoration is best for you?

Your dentist will give you advice and outline the advantages and disadvantages of each type to allow you to make an informed decision. The best type for you will depend on how big the restoration is, whether it is in a visible part of the mouth and cost.

Restoration of Parts of Single Teeth – Fillings

Silver amalgam (an alloy that contains silver, tin, copper, zinc, and about 50% mercury) has been used for approximately 160 years for the restoration of teeth. It has been highly successful but is an unsightly material. Use of mercury in the body has been criticized since its inception, but amalgam use is still supported strongly by the American Dental Association and other groups worldwide. A small percentage of people in the overall population may be allergic to the elements in silver amalgam. You do have several options:

What are the advantages of composites?

Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

Your Choices for Fillings 

White Fillings
Silver Amalgam
Gold Inlays and Onlays
Resin Composite (plastic)
Glass Ionomer
Ceramic Indirect