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Hopkins Dental Clinic
Eric Hopkins, D.D.S.
18 East Dunloup, Shawnee, OK 74804

Amalgam Fillings

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth with Dr. Hopkins. Amalgam fillings, along with composite (tooth colored) fillings, are the most widely used today. Gold fillings, inlays/onlays, are also available. Gold is the most long lasting of the three materials. An amalgam filling is more commonly used in the back teeth since the color is not as aesthetic as a composite filling.

A silver amalgam filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a silver filling. It is usually the most functional of the economic fillings.

Silver amalgam has been thoroughly tested and found to have no adverse health effects. It is a very safe restorative material.

As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and may someday need replacement.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you long lasting function.

Reasons for amalgam fillings:

  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.

What does getting an amalgam filling involve?

Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, Dr Hopkins will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication procedure (pulp cap) will be applied for added protection.  The silver filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

Positives:

    Great strength and durability

    Self sealing for long life

    Relatively inexpensive

Negatives:

    Visible - grey color

It is not abnormal to experience some sensitivity to cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, however this should subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. We usually place a bonding agent/sealer under the filling to help prevent sensitivity. If the hypersensitivity persists, there may be need for further treatment on the tooth.

You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.