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There are three materials available for directly repairing damaged teeth in the mouth, without the need for laboratory procedures. These are amalgam, composite resin and cements






  • metal alloy containing mercury

  • silver when placed

  • blackens over time

  • just fills a hole

  • no biological benefit to tooth

  • strong, apparantly long lasting

  • failure due to tooth decay

  • tooth coloured material

  • can be used to match teeth exactly

  • bonded to tooth with special glue

  • strong 

  • excellent wear characteristic

  • failure due to leakage of margins resulting in tooth decay

  • tooth coloured material

  • difficult to exactly match teeth

  • interacts strongly with tooth

  • does not leak around the margin

  • long lasting filling material

  • surface can wear and feel rough

  • failure due to fracture

As can been seen from the brief descriptions there are no 'perfect' filling materials, we strongly believe that amalgam has 'had it's day' and stopped placing them in 2008.  It will depend on exactly why you need a filling as to which material is the right choice and this can be discussed in surgery.

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