5/1/20

Dear Patient and family members:

We hope you and your family are in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

We are excited to resume semi-normal working days starting May 4, 2020.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations to insure your safety and that of our staff.

You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment or to reschedule your canceled appointment, please call our office 406-252-1078.  

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Ken Bagby and staff

Amalgam or Porcelain Fillings: Which is Best for You?

By Kenneth Bagby, D.D.S. on September 07, 2016


Fillings are used to treat cavities or to repair broken teeth. These fillings are usually made from porcelain these days, but fillings made from silver amalgam are also fairly common. Porcelain and amalgam fillings each have their pros and cons, and it is up to you and your dentist to decide which option is best for you.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings are usually made from a methacrylate matrix filled with very fine porcelain particles. These particles make up roughly 80 percent of the filling, and they give it a creamy consistency when the filling is placed in a tooth. This allows the fillings to be molded into any shape the dentist sees fit. The result is a filling with a white color that matches the natural shape and color of the tooth.

The biggest advantage of porcelain fillings is that they are more cosmetically pleasing than other filling options. Since they match the color of your teeth, people won't be able to tell that you have any fillings at all. Porcelain fillings will also not release any toxic elements after they are placed in your mouth, something that cannot always be said about amalgam fillings. The only problem with porcelain fillings is that they are very technique sensitive, and it takes a skilled dentist to mold them into the proper shape. They also require a tooth to be completely dry before it can be fitted with a filling. This problem can be overcome with a dental dam, but it still presents an obvious challenge.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings consist of mercury mixed with silver, zinc, tin and copper. They have been used since the 19th Century, and they are known for their durability and relatively low cost. Amalgam fillings typically last between 10 and 15 years, and they easily withstand chewing forces. The major downsides of amalgam fillings is that they aren't as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain fillings and they require more of your teeth to be destroyed when they are being fitted. About one percent of people will also experience allergic reactions to the mercury present in the fillings.

While most people will probably be fitted with porcelain fillings these days, amalgam fillings are still popular for their lower cost and their durability. Your dentist will help you decide which type of filling is best for you.

Contact Dr. Bagby today for all of your dental needs!

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