KidsMD Health Topics

Fillings

  • Teeth that have been affected by tooth decay (caries or cavities) require a filling.

    How Boston Children's Hospital pioneers research in the field

    Children's researchers led a study that found no adverse health effects in 500 children who received silver amalgam fillings. They caution, however, that this is just one study and it did not include children under age 6, who could be more vulnerable to mercury's effects.

    Contact Us

    Boston Children's Hospital
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Hunnewell 4
    Boston MA 02115 

    617-355-6571  
    fax: 617-730-0478

  • There are many different types of fillings, including:

    • Dental Amalgams - Dental amalgams, also known as silver fillings, are comprised of a mixture of mercury (45 to 50 percent), and an alloy of silver, tin, and copper (50 to 55 percent). When combined with other materials in a dental amalgam, mercury's chemical nature changes.

    • Composite Resins - Also known as white fillings, a composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) that is used primarily for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

    Other alternatives to restoring damaged or decayed teeth:

    • Porcelain veneers - a ceramic material is bonded to the front of teeth to change the tooth's color, size and/or shape

    • Crown - a cap that covers a cracked or broken tooth, unfixed by a filling, to approximate its normal size and shape

    • Cast gold restorations - this type of restoration is often more costly and may require more than one dental fitting

  • Research & Innovation

    Man Wai Ng, MD, dentist-in chief, is undertaking one of the only quality improvement initiatives for pediatric dentistry in the country: redesigning the care delivery system based on the prevention and management of cavities. Instead of "drilling and filling," Ng advocates for treating cavities as a disease that can be reduced and controlled. In addition to office-based treatments, her project includes educating parents and giving them self-management plans. She's finding a marked decrease in new cavities and a reduced need for surgical treatments-costly endeavors that often require a child to undergo anesthesia.

  • Location  Address  Contact 
     Boston Boston Children's Hospital
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Hunnewell 4
    Boston MA 02115 
    617-355-6571 
    fax: 617-730-0478 
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