There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Silver amalgam fillings were the treatment of choice for tooth decay for many years, and are only recently being replaced by white composite fillings.
You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth, but it is highly likely that you will conclude that silver amalgam fillings are your best bet, especially if you are dealing with a molar or another tooth where aesthetics are not a concern.
As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and will someday have to be replaced. However, they are very durable and will last many years provided you take care of them.
Reasons for amalgam fillings:
Cracked or broken teeth
What does getting an amalgam filling involve?
Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment. Your dentist will make sure your tooth is completely numb and then remove decay or damaged material from the affected tooth as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared to receive the amalgam filling. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The silver amalgam filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished to restore your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, but this should subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in extending the life of your new fillings.