Frontiers in Medicine published a paper which looked into amalgam and composite fillings as well as some of the variables which can lead them to fail.
Among the factors examined were age, sex, drinking alcohol, smoking, diabetes, periodontal health, and genes. The dental histories of 4,856 people over 5 years were included for the research project.
Among the notable findings were:
Composite fillings are just as good, if not better than amalgam
Composite fillings are the more recent, white fillings, whereas amalgam is the familiar silver tooth fillings that have been in use for more than 150 years. The team found in the course of the study that the rate of failure for amalgam and composite filings were almost identical, with the more modern composite fillings doing just a little better.
Fillings have a greater failure rate for men who smoke and people who drink alcohol
Drinking and smoking displayed the most prominent interaction with the failing of fillings of the lifestyle factors considered. After having fillings for 2 years, the failure rate was highest in male smokers and in patients who drank alcohol regularly.
A person’s genes could be partly to blame in fillings that fail
Those involved with the study watched out for a gene for an enzyme which can be found in teeth known as MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase). MMP2 might break down the connection between the teeth and fillings, suggested them. An individual’s DNA might, in the future, be more important in dentistry, the research team suggested. According to one of the researchers involved in the study, Alexandre Vieira: “In the future, genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.”
The findings of the study support the idea that composite tooth fillings can be looked at as a great replacement for traditional amalgam fillings. The connection between lifestyle choices and filling failure are something dental patients might want to consider as well.
If you haven’t had your fillings evaluated recently, consider scheduling your next exam at Olney Dental Center now.