Traditional filling used to treat tooth decay

Traditional filling used to treat tooth decay

Composite fillings are susceptible to staining from food and tobacco—especially around their edges—and silver amalgam fillings are likely to cause a gray mineral stain in the surrounding enamel.

Such stains can often be concealed, by covering the visible tooth surfaces with bonding or veneers. This is sometimes the best solution for stained but otherwise sound composite fillings. For amalgam fillings, though, the best solution may be replacement.

In many instances, amalgam fillings can be satisfactorily replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings. Materials now in general use are nearly as strong silver amalgam, and may not be suitable for restorations that must withstand heavy chewing pressures.

It isn’t always practical to replace old, extensive fillings in molars or inaccessible fillings at the proximal edges of any teeth. Molars, furthermore, are often so inconspicuous that stains on them are not worth trying to remedy. In general, the treatment of stains is reserved for the front teeth, from the incisors to the premolars.

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