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The outermost layer of our teeth is a crystal-hard substance called our tooth enamel. Though durable, this layer is certainly not impenetrable. A cavity forms when your enamel has worn away enough to create a hole. If left unchecked, this can lead to toothaches, infections, and tooth failure. A dental filling is a treatment that fills the hole created by the cavity. There are two kinds of dental fillings: dental amalgams and dental composites.

Dental amalgams are shiny, metallic-looking fillings that last a long time and are very effective. If your cavity is extensive, amalgrams tend to be the best solution, though ultimately that is up to you and Dr. Scott Howe. Dental amalgams use a variety of metals and a small amount of mercury as a binding agent to create a filling that can repair cavities and prevent future decay. Dental amalgams have been around for decades, and their effectiveness is even more precise today than in the past.

Dental composites are tooth-colored composite fillings that can mimic the natural look of your teeth. A composite ensures that your smile will remain unaffected; the filling blends well with its surroundings. A composite filling is metal free. They can also be fixed and repaired many times over without needing to remove the original filling, as is required with dental amalgams.

Do you think you might need a filling? Just call Dr. Scott Howe and our team at Riverfront Dental LLC for an oral examination at 503.370.7651 to schedule an appointment at our dentist office in Salem, Oregon. We’d love to see you!