Help Decide between Amalgam and Composite Fillings

Help Decide between Amalgam and Composite Fillings

When trying to decide between opting for amalgam or composite fillings, your patient may be torn. Helping them choose the option that’s best for them is best done by first thoroughly informing them about both methods of treatment; here’s how DentiCalc can help.

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Deciphering the Difference

Generally speaking, most patients know that there are two types of fillings: “white” and “silver”. Of course, in most cases, patients will opt for composite fillings, as they know they will not be visible.

What most patients don’t know are the specifics of each type of filling, such as:

  1. Amalgam fillings are best used on teeth that have endured extensive decay
  2. Metals expand with hot and cold; this is something to keep in mind when opting for amalgam fillings as it may cause cracking or other damage.
  3. Composite fillings need to be replaced every 10-15 years, while amalgam fillings have the potential to last the patient’s lifetime if properly maintained
  4. Amalgam fillings are usually less expensive than composite fillings
  5. Insurance coverage for fillings will vary from plan to plan, but composite fillings may not be covered, as they may be considered to be an “aesthetic” procedure.

There’s pro’s and con’s to each treatment; the key is to thoroughly discuss each option with your patient to determine what works best for them.

Dentist-patient communicationPhoto by DentiCalc

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Personal Experience

When working as the head dental assistant in a busy practice, I saw my fair share of fillings.

One thing I learned to be true over the years is that once patients are equipped with all the information they need, treatment planning is a breeze.

There was one instance in which an older man came into the office needing restorations on multiple teeth; he had never had any fillings done before, and wasn’t quite sure what type of filling he wanted. He shared with us that his main concern was ensuring the health and longevity of the teeth; aesthetics weren’t really a large concern for him.

After completing his examination, we sat and discussed the pro’s and con’s for each type of filling. There were two fillings that we strongly recommended to be done with amalgam, as they were a bit deep, but otherwise, we left it to the discretion of the patient as to which type of filling was done.

In order to help him fully understand each type of filling, we used diagrams and photos that we found online.

But lets be honest: pulling up things on the internet to show your patient feels and looks a bit… unprofessional. If we had access to DentiCalc for this patient’s treatment plan presentation, we could have quickly and easily given him professional and impressive visual aids to help him understand his treatment.

Dentist-patient communicationPhoto by DentiCalc

Prior to DentiCalc’s development, the options for mobile treatment planning applications were scarce, to say the least. Finally, there’s an app that dental professionals can use that helps bridge the communication gap and improve the patient’s overall experience.

Try it NOW!

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