A damage to a tooth is usually fixed using a filling. The damage may be a hole, fracture (cracked tooth) or a wound injury in the dental crown. Today, composite (plastic) fillings are used as the primary choice for permanent dental filling or laying. The composite used in dental care for dental filling is mainly used for aesthetic reasons, so the fillings are not visible, which is especially important for a front tooth filling. There are two more types of fillings except the composite ones:
Amalgam is an alloy, consisting mainly of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Before the composite, it was (and still in some parts of the world) the most common dental material used for tooth cavities. It’s a cheap and very strong material (stronger than composite) that is relatively easy to work with. The main disadvantages of amalgam are partly that you must also remove fresh dentifrice before dental filling can be done and partly its mercury content. The reason that amalgam
since 2009 is forbidden to be used in Sweden is just because of the mercury. The amalgam accounted for a large part of mercury emissions in nature.
Should you replace amalgam fillings with plastic (composite)? Today, many still have amalgam fillings left in their teeth. Often we get the question of replacing amalgam fillings. The answer is no, the amalgam fillings that have been sitting for a long time should not be removed because the teeth may weaken further when removing old fillings. This goes without saying as long as the fillings are good and intact. If the filling is cracked or for some reason not considered to be tight, we recommend replacing it. This will inform the dentist during the examination.
There are several temporary filling materials that are not as strong and resilient as composite and are usually used in holes/damage that you want to cover temporarily for permanent treatment. Most often, these are used in acute treatments, since one rarely has enough time to fix a tooth permanently or when the patient will return within a few weeks. The temporary filler material can be purchased at the pharmacy if you ever encounter a dental fracture and want to cover it until you reach the dentist.