Plastic fillings look nicer than amalgam fillings. They also passed the long-term test. Nevertheless, the patient has to bear the cost of a plastic filling partly himself.
Amalgam adé – 8 interesting facts about plastic fillings
Correctly they are actually called composite fills (Latin compositum “the compound”). The name is deceiving, because the plastic content is only about 20 percent. The greater part of the plastic filling is a material mix consisting of ceramic, glass and quartz particles.
Plastic fillings are invisible
The fact that most patients opt for a plastic filling has, above all aesthetic reasons. The fillings are in the Tooth color of the patient made and are so extensive invisible.
“Here in our dental practice, we like to leave the determination of tooth color to our female employees, because they have a better sense of color than us men,” says Rudolf von Eckartsberg, who has been working as a dentist in Munich for over 30 years and also the departure from amalgam witnessed.
Why amalgam has fallen into disrepute?
In the 1990s, a study (Tübingen study) found that the amalgam fillings release tiny amounts of mercury. Two groups of patients were allowed to chew gum. One group had amalgam fillings, a second none. Then the scientists compared the saliva of the patients. They found that the saliva contained mercury.
Amalgam is not that dangerous
Plastic fillings are more gentle on the teeth
The plastic filling can easily be introduced into the cavity to be filled, ie into the hole in the tooth. It is very soft during processing and therefore easy to shape.
Then the filling is cured with a special lamp. The ceramic material remains in the solidified filling and provides the necessary hardness and abrasion resistance during chewing.
If the “hole” in the tooth is too large, or if a molten wall of the tooth is destroyed in the posterior tooth, then we advise against a plastic filling here in our practice in Schwabing.
Advantages of plastic filling
Plastic fillings are tooth colored and therefore “prettier” than that cruel silver amalgam fillings. But not only that. The damaged tooth can be repaired with a plastic filling with less loss of the tooth (or rather on the tooth substance). That is, the dentist has less to drill on the tooth.
Beware of teeth whitening
Something must be careful patients who undergo a whitening (bleaching or whitening). When whitening only the natural teeth are lightened. Plastic fillings, partial crowns or crowns retain their predetermined tooth color.
Plastic fillings are more expensive
But there are also disadvantages. The processing is more complicated because the cavity (= the prepared “hole”) must be etched and spread with a primer. Overall, the filling is more expensive than the amalgam filling.
This causes the Cost of a plastic filling not to be taken over by the statutory health insurance. They only reimburse the costs for the amalgam filling. The difference must be borne by the patient himself.
Plastic fillings in the long-term test
Since there are plastic fillings only since the 90s, we do not (yet) know how long plastic fillings actually last. However, we see in practice that they last at least as long as amalgam fillings. Some of our patients have had tooth-colored fillings for more than 20 years.
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