New Review Says Tooth-Colored Fillings as Good as Metal Amalgam

Although the majority of dental patients have eagerly made the transition to tooth-colored fillings. With their improved appearance and no mercury content, the fillings are very popular with everyone–except some dentists.

In recent years, some dentists have begun to complain that tooth-colored fillings, which include both resin composite and glass-ionomer fillings, don’t last as long as metal amalgam fillings. Nor have they been without support. Research has not supported the use of these fillings in some locations where they are subjected to high stress (such as the molars).

The sense that tooth-colored fillings is so prevalent that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has issued a nearly $3 million grant to researchers looking for a more practical alternative.

But you should never count a good fighter out, and a new review suggests that perhaps our judgment of tooth-colored fillings may have been too hasty.

The 10,000 Teeth

The new review of dental fillings has been conducted by researchers at Wits University in South Africa. In it, researchers utilized a new comprehensive review of studies around the world written in many languages, and say they find no evidence that metal amalgams are actually superior in performance to glass-ionomer tooth-colored fillings.

After conducting a search in 17 global and regional databases, including literature in Chinese and Spanish, they identified 38 trials that met the evidence criteria necessary to compare the two treatments. These studies had follow-up periods that ranged from one to six years, and covered 10,000 restorations placed in teeth.

According to the lead researcher, “The results of SYSTEM’s meta-epidemiological study show that statements concerning glass-ionomers’ inferiority to amalgam and other types of materials are based on incorrect statistical comparison methods.” In other words, a math error.

Tooth-Colored Fillings a Good Option

At Ravon Knopf Dentistry, we have a very high standard for the treatments we use. We would never offer a restoration that we don’t believe is consistent with the high level of patient satisfaction we strive for. You can have confidence that the tooth-colored fillings we offer are a quality treatment, and this study can give you additional assurance.

To talk to us about the right restoration for you, please contact Ravon Knopf in Beverly Hills today for an appointment.

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Nicolas A. Ravon DDS MSD

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