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Health Tip: Filling a Cavity

There are several options

(HealthDayNews) -- Patients have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth, according to the American Dental Association.

These options include:

  • Dental amalgam, a compound of mercury and other metals that often is called a silver filling because of its appearance. Dental amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested restorative material. It is durable, easy to use, tough and inexpensive.
  • Composite fillings, a mixture of acrylic resin and finely ground glass-like particles that produce a tooth-colored restoration. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid-size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed, requiring a smaller filling than that of an amalgam.
  • Gold alloys, containing gold, copper and other metals that result in a strong, effective filling. Primarily used for inlays, onlays, crowns and fixed bridges, these alloys are highly resistant to corrosion and tarnishing.
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