For smaller cavities that can be treated with fillings, there are two types of fillings: composite (white or tooth colored) and amalgam (silver). Composite fillings are a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin. Dr. Ruiz has been highly trained to place composite fillings and attempts to apply them the majority of the time. The advantages of placing composite fillings include: strength, durability, esthetics, preserves tooth structure and a low frequency of requiring replacement. Additionally, composite fillings are compatible with dental sealants. When Dr. Ruiz places composites, she will take the additional step of placing a dental sealant over the composite and surrounding tooth structure for added protection against dental cavities.
There are some rare instances where composite restorations are not possible or recommended to be placed. For these instances, dental amalgam is recommended. Dental amalgam is often referred to as a silver filling because of its color. It’s a self-hardening mixture of silver-tin-copper alloy powder and liquid mercury. When the mercury interacts with the other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature is changed and has been found to be safe and durable to use. The advantages of amalgam include: durability, inexpensive, self-sealing, and resistance to recurrent caries.
Dr. Ruiz understands that dental appointments can be difficult for everyone, especially children. For this reason, we want to decrease the chances of having to repair or replace fillings by using proper techniques. Dr. Ruiz’s goal is to minimize the chances of failure of the dental work performed and will make the appropriate recommendations based on your child’s specific need.
Other factors that influence the longevity of the restoration include: cooperation of the child, dental hygiene, home care, diet, and chewing habits.