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Silver amalgam, until recently, was the material most often used to restore decayed areas of your teeth. We now have the capability to match the fillings to the shade and color of your tooth, so that no one will ever know you had a cavity. Another advantage of tooth-colored fillings is that the preparation is quite conservative. Only the decay is removed, then the filling is bonded to the area. Silver fillings don't have the same bonding capacity, and therefore rely on mechanical retention to hold the filling in place.

Like silver fillings, composites can be prepared and placed in one visit. After the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, your dentist will use a very mild acid solution to "etch" the tooth surface. A bonding agent is brushed onto the prepared tooth, followed by several thin layers of the tooth-colored composite. Once the composite filling is placed, the material is hardened, or cured and polished.

There are many reasons why most people prefer white fillings over the traditional metal fillings. The mercury in amalgam fillings is viewed as potentially toxic, and many patients feel that the white composite fillings represent a more advanced technology. Composite fillings are also more aesthetic and resistant to fracture.

Bracebridge, Muskoka Dentist, Dr. Wahid Sahyouni

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