Amalgam fillings versus resin composites

Dental_Restoration

Photo copyright Jeffrey Dorfman, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

There is some controversy over the best materials to use when restoring or filling holes caused by tooth decay in permanent teeth at the back of the mouth. Amalgam fillings are cost effective and have been used for over 150 years. However, their use has declined over recent years, partly because of the way they look and because of the perceived risk from the mercury they contain. Tooth-coloured (composite resin) fillings are frequently used in the front teeth and in the teeth at the back of the mouth. But which is better overall? This Cochrane review compares the two restorative materials in adults and children with permanent teeth. Continue reading

Faulty metal-based fillings – to repair or to replace?

Amalgam fillingDental fillings have a limited life span, and this research looks at whether it is better to repair or replace faulty or degraded fillings made of dental amalgam (a mix of various metals and mercury) in molar teeth. Traditionally, faulty fillings have been replaced, however this approach can lead to further loss of the tooth as the cavity is emptied and then refilled. Repairing the faulty filling is a different approach, which may be more cost effective and cause less pain and anxiety for the patient. Continue reading