Dental Amalgam Fillings IN MEDFORD, OR
When a tooth has decay, known as a cavity, one of the options for restoration is an amalgam filling after the decay has been removed. Amalgam fillings are known for their silver color, and has been the most common dental restoration material used for over 150 years. Restoring the health of your teeth is important to your overall health, your bite, and your comfort. Julie R. Fagundes, DDS, can improve your smile, remove bacteria, and improve your function. Our team can customize a treatment plan that is right for your needs.
What is amalgam?
Amalgam is a blend of about 50% mercury and 50% of other metals, including silver, tin and copper with trace amounts of zinc, indium and palladium. This blend creates a strong and durable material that increases the longevity of your tooth’s life after it has been weakened from decay. Amalgam is a less costly repair and has a longer lifespan than other options. At our office, Dr. Julie R. Fagundes, DDS, uses amalgam because it offers our patients many advantages, including:
- Strength: Enamel is hard to compete with in strength, it’s actually the hardest material in your body, harder than bone. Amalgam is likewise strong, and can withstand the chewing pressure needed to restore chewing function.
- Durable: Composite material has adjusted vastly over the past decade, so the studies are still in process, but amalgam has been proven to last many patients up to 20 years.
- Bacteriostatic: Amalgam properties make it bacteriostatic, meaning it stops bacteria from growing. Resin, found in composite material, has been found to encourage the growth of microorganisms.
- Low Cost: Due to its lower cost, some insurance companies may only be willing to pay for amalgam fillings.
Is Amalgam safe?
Following concerns from different groups about the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted studies starting in 2009, and concluded that amalgam was safe to be used in your mouth for the filling of dental cavities. The American Dental Association has also determined amalgam to be safe for its intended purpose. Mercury is necessary in the amalgam blend to make the material pliable. When first mixed, mercury makes the material putty like, allowing the dentist to manipulate and shape the material. Once placed, it is then hardened.
Applying an Amalgam Filling
Before we apply the amalgam filling, Julie R. Fagundes, DDS, removes the decay. This is usually done following the application of a local anesthetic to numb the area. The area is cleansed to ensure the removal of infection, and then the area is shaped to better receive the filling material. The amalgam filling is mixed chairside and applied. Your newly restored tooth is ready to use once the numbing has receded.