Amalgam dental fillings have been used for over 150 years, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Since they can repair deep cavities and don't crack or break when a person grinds his or her teeth, they are the most commonly used. Other fillings a dentist might use include composite resin, resin-isomer cement and glass-ionomer cement. Dentists use these to either fill smaller cavities or because they blend with the colour of the tooth.
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Amalgam Filling Ingredients
A mixture of 43 per cent to 54 per cent elemental mercury and 46 per cent to 57 per cent alloy powder, composed of silver, tin and copper, makes up an amalgam filling.
Composite Resin Filling Ingredients
The allure of a composite resin filling lies in its colour--the same as the tooth. Plastic resin and a small amount of powdered glass make up these fillings.
Resin-Ionomer Cement Ingredients
Glass, plastic resin and an organic acid that hardens when exposed to the blue dentistry light make up the resin-ionomer cement filling, which is tooth-coloured and used for small fillings.
A self-hardening, tooth-coloured material made up of calcium-alumino-silicate glass powder and organic acid, the glass-ionomer filling cracks over time and costs much more than the amalgam filling.
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