Dental fillings have come a long way in the industry since the days of amalgams. It was once believed that the best thing that could be done for a patient with a cavity was to take away the diseased area and then replace it with a silver and mercury mixture. Silver was quite durable and the mercury helped to hold the silver together. As a team, they were the perfect solution for those patients that had enough healthy surface area of the tooth that it could be saved.
Of course, the end result was anything but ideal. After the amalgam was put into the patient’s mouth, the first thing that they noticed was the fact that it was nearly the same color as the cavity was in the first place. Then there was a later issue with the fact that this type of material reacts to cold and heat by either shrinking or becoming larger. This eventually caused the tooth surface to crack, leading to another problem with the mercury inside the dental fillings. They were leaking out of the cracked area of the tooth and getting into the bloodstream of the patients. This has been proven to cause problems to organs such as the liver.
Today, composite resins are available to replace amalgams. While they are slightly more expensive, they are more durable, much safer and they don’t react to heat and cold. This means that they won’t move about and crack the tooth. They also contain no mercury, making them even more appealing. This is the option that all patients should opt for when having a tooth repaired because of a cavity or other types of diseases or injuries.