Fillings are used when a cavity or decay has to be removed from a tooth, leaving a small hole in the tooth. This can be filled with a composite (bonded) material that is tooth colored and is discreet and more aesthetically pleasing than a silver filling. Composite fillings are used on front teeth and lower back teeth that may be seen by others when speaking face to face. Composite fillings are almost undetectable to the naked eye and can be matched to the color of your tooth. They are durable for small to mid-size fillings and moderately resistant to future decay and if decay recurs it is easily seen. Composite fillings can be used on front or back teeth. An amalgam filling is a silver alloy filling most commonly used on back teeth as it allows for more pressure than a composite fillings. The amalgam filling is placed once all the decay is removed and it is then smoothed and polished to a shine. Amalgam fillings are very durable and highly resistant to future decay. They can be placed in one visit, are lower cost than composite fillings and can be placed in a wet environment which is important when working on a child or patient with special needs. You may have heard that amalgam fillings are dangerous but a can of tuna contains more mercury than a single amalgam filling! When old amalgam fillings are removed, Dr. Roberts disposes and recycles the material safely.
A build-up is basically a filling used to fill the tooth back up after the decayed or fractured part is removed or following a root canal and is done in preparation for final restoration of a crown.