Composite Fillings (Bonding) in Redmond, Washington
Fillings are used to fix small to moderate size damage in teeth. Typical damage comes from things like tooth decay or trauma which has chipped a tooth. In my practice, I mostly use the tooth- colored material, composite, to fix this damage. This is because of the many advantages and improvements associated with its use. Also referred to as bonding, composite fillings require very little removal of tooth structure in order to fix the damage. Unlike silver fillings which require undercuts to be drilled into the tooth to lock it in place, composite bonds to the tooth and does not need this extra drilling. This same bonding ability also makes composite repairable. I no longer need to remove the entire existing filling just because of minor wear or decay. New composite can be bonded directly to the old composite, usually without the need for anesthetic. Because composite is available in several different shades, these fillings are matched to the surrounding tooth color, making them invisible. This makes them an important part of cosmetic dentistry.
Amalgam (Silver) Fillings
Amalgam or silver fillings have been the standard of care for a very long time. Because mercury is one of the ingredients used to make amalgam, many people have health concerns related to its use. There have been many studies on this topic and every one of them have determined that amalgam is safe. Because of this, I do not recommend removing all silver fillings for health reasons. However; if someone wants them removed, I will be happy to do so.