Tooth colored fillings
Dr. Chow, Ko and Diune use tooth-colored composite material to restore small and moderate size cavities, fractured teeth due to trauma, and for some other situations diagnosed by the doctors. Composite material is esthetic and durable but care still needs to be taken after they are placed.
Silver colored fillings
Sometimes described as “silver-colored” fillings, dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time.
Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings are often the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew. Amalgam hardens quickly so it is useful in areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement, such as below the gum line. Because it takes less time to place than tooth-colored fillings, amalgam is also an effective material for children who may have a difficult time staying still during treatment.
One disadvantage of amalgam is that these types of fillings are not natural looking, especially when the filling is near the front of the mouth, where it may show when you smile or speak.
Although dental amalgam is a safe, commonly used dental material, you may wonder about its mercury content. It’s important to know that when combined with the other metals, it forms a safe, stable material. Be assured that credible scientific studies affirm the safety of dental amalgam. Study after study shows amalgam is safe and effective for filling cavities. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. The Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and National Multiple Sclerosis Society—all science based organizations, like the ADA—also say that amalgam poses no health risk.
The Mayo Clinic recently stated that dental amalgam is a safe and durable choice for dental fillings. They also note that “there are several kinds of mercury. The mercury [methylmercury] found in water that can build up in fish and lead to health problems if you ingest too much is not the same type of mercury used in amalgam.”
Stainless steel crowns
Stainless Steel Crowns are used in cases where a cavity has affected so much tooth structure that a amalgam or composite filling material cannot be used to repair the tooth. These silver caps are placed on the back teeth. A crown covers the primary (baby) tooth completely and restores it to its original shape and size.
Very large cavities can result in toothaches and nerve irritation and/or infection. If a cavity has affected the tooth’s nerve, part of the nerve is cleaned out, an antibacterial medicine is placed on the remaining nerve structure, and a protective filling is placed over the nerve. Once the tooth has had nerve treatment, it is weakened and must have a crown placed over it to protect it from fracturing in the future.