After performing a dental exam and detecting a cavity, we may recommend a filling. Amalgam and composite are the two kinds of fillings offered at Advance Dental Arts Center.

Amalgam Fillings (Silver)

Amalgam fillings are a mix of metallic elements such as silver, tin, copper and mercury. Strong and reliable but not the most aesthetic, they’re most commonly placed in the areas of the mouth with greater chewing force or moisture control problems during the filling process. These fillings are silver or dark and can be temperature sensitive at first due to the metal elements. Because they contain mercury, their use has caused controversy, but they’re one of the most researched filling materials used in dentistry. They’ve also been used for 100 years and placed in millions of patients. According to the United States Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, amalgam fillings are safe, reliable and effective restorative material.

Amalgam fillings cost slightly lower than other options. If you don’t want a metal filling, you can choose from other types—all with their own advantages and disadvantages. The filling you select is strictly your decision. Discuss any concerns you may have with Dr. Wright, hence together, we can decide the option best for you.

Composite Fillings (Tooth Colored)

Composite fillings are a combination of glass or quartz filler in a matrix. They provide strength, resist fractures and match tooth color. These fillings are most commonly placed with a rubber dam to isolate the teeth to ensure adequate bonding. Requiring multiple steps, they can take longer to place and cost more than amalgam fillings.

Generally, composite fillings accommodate most situations. However, they may not be the best option if you need a very large filling. Insurance usually covers composite fillings at the same rate as amalgam fillings, which may incur an additional out-of-pocket cost.

Most patients prefer this restoration. Please discuss any concerns you may have with Dr. Wright, hence together, we can decide the option best for you.

What to expect after a filling

Any filling can be sensitive to temperature changes or biting for a few days to a few weeks. If you experience any further discomfort, contact us to determine if another issue is causing it. If your bite doesn’t feel right within a few days, contact us to determine if you need a slight bite adjustment.

Dr. Kimberly Wright

Dr. Kimberly Wright

Dr. Kimberly Wright graduated from the University of Oregon and Oregon Health and Science University. She is a lifelong learner, taking over 100 hours of continuing education annually. Dr. Wright earned the prestigious Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and is a past MasterTrack Director for Oregon’s AGD, for which she had also served as past president. She was the past trustee for the Oregon Dental Association too. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Orofacial Pain, Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the American College of Dentists.