A study found in Frontiers in Medicine explored amalgam and composite dental fillings as well as a number of circumstances that can lead to their failure.

Some of the things looked at included alcohol consumption, smoking, sex, age, periodontal health, diabetes, and genetic factors. Dental histories of 4,856 individuals from five years were included as a part of the study.

Among the notable findings were:

Composite dental fillings are just as good, if not better than amalgam

Amalgam fillings are the silver-colored dental fillings which have been used by dentists for more than one hundred and fifty years, whereas composite fillings are the modern, tooth-colored fillings. During the duration of the study, the team found that the rate of failure for composite and amalgam were similar, with composite fillings performing just a little better (a little over 2%).

Men who are smokers and people who drink regularly have a greater chance of fillings failing

Drinking and smoking were found to have the largest correlation with the failing of fillings of the lifestyle variables considered. After having dental fillings for 2 years, the rate of failure was highest in those who drank alcohol regularly and in male smokers.

Genetics could be involved for failed dental fillings

Those involved with the study made note of the gene for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2), which is an enzyme which is found in teeth. According to the research team, MMP2 may weaken the attachment between the filling and teeth. They suggested that a person’s genetic background may be a bigger element in dentistry one day. Alexandre Vieira, one of the researchers, said: “In the future, genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.”

The results of the study support the idea that composite fillings can be looked at as a good replacement for the older amalgam fillings. The correlation between smoking and drinking and the failure rate of fillings are something dental patients might want to be mindful of as well.

Haven’t had your dental fillings checked recently? Book your next appointment with one of our dentists at Milford Dental Excellence now!