AMALGAM VS. PLASTIC FILLINGS
A lifespan study of 2,035 fillings found
dental amalgams lasted on average 15 years,
while plastic composite fillings lasted about 8 years.
(SOURCE: The Journal of the American College of Dentists--1998)
Your Jaws ~ Your Life (page 48)
For 150 years, dental amalgam fillings
have played a key role in treating decayed teeth. Dental
amalgam is safe, strong, long lasting, effective and
economical. Although its appearance is unesthetic, its
clinical performance and effectiveness are unsurpassed
by those of resin composites. Some people blame dental
amalgam for illnesses with no known cause, and stir
fear. Fear then drives some people to replace their
amalgam fillings with plastic fillings.
Plastic tooth colored composite filling
materials are used frequently now. Originally white
filling materials were designed for use in the front
of the mouth where chewing forces are low. Now they
are also used in back teeth where chewing forces can
be heavy. While plastic filling materials and techniques
have improved, the placement of plastic composite materials
remains very technique sensitive. There are long term
health concerns about plastic fillings too.
As of this writing, research shows that
amalgam and plastic filling materials are very safe.
Therefore, when choosing dental care, patients and doctors
should keep in mind the main goal, which is to save
teeth, keep jaws supported, and keep the airways open.
Ask your doctor to help you choose whether dental amalgam
or plastic composite materials are right for you.
David C. Page, D.D.S.
Your Jaws ~ Your Life (pages 48-49)