Until recently, dentists filled and sealed cavities exclusively using a silver and mercury amalgam. Unfortunately, these fillings (or restorations) often weaken teeth due to the large amount of the original tooth that has to be removed. Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to composite fillings as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a soft white plastic substance that includes a hardening agent.
Pros and Cons of Composite Fillings
The major advantage of these fillings is that they come in a range of shades that closely match the color of an individual's tooth. Due to the increased strength of modern composite material, they can now also be used in the back teeth. Unfortunately, composite fillings are 1 1/2 to 2 times more expensive than traditional restorations. Dental insurance typically covers the cost of composite fillings up to the price of the silver/mercury fillings.
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