What is the difference between an amalgam and composite filling?
Amalgam is a metal alloy containing many components such as copper and mercury and is considered the bottom of the line in tooth restorative materials. It does not behave the same as the surrounding tooth and can have negative effects on the tooth and the entire body in some people. Older amalgams or “silver fillings” turn black, a sign of corrosion, and cause teeth to become brittle and crack. Sometimes resulting fractures of teeth requires crowns, root canals or even tooth loss. Composite, on the other hand, is a resin or plastic mixture which bonds to the tooth and acts very much like the tooth eliminating thermal expansion differences, leakage, corrosion and cracking of teeth. If your Amalgam fillings are over 15 years old, are turning black or the teeth around the filling are turning dark it is time to get the old fillings replaced with something more friendly such as composite, gold or porcelain.