Silver Fillings or White Fillings
Silver amalgam and composite resin are the two most common materials used to restore teeth damaged by decay.
There are situations where one material is preferable over the other, and similarly, there are disadvantages to both
of these filling materials
- Silver amalgam is a more durable tooth fillig material than composite resin in teeth that are subject to a lot of biting pressure
- An amalgam filling costs considerable less than a comparable composite filling.
- Amalgam fillings are less attractive than tooth-colored composite resin fillings; for this reason, they ‘re
typically not placed in teeth located near the front of your mouth.
- The mercury in amalgam fillings expands and contracts with heat and cold eventually causing the filling to fracture your tooth, so a crown will be require to restore its functionality.
- Silver fillings will eventually corrode and leak, which can cause new decay to develop underneath the filling. The leakage can also give a gray appearance to the entire tooth.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored fillings
- Resin fillings result in a natural-looking smile. The color can be closely matched to yur natural teeth, so the restorations are nearly undetectable.
- Resin fillings actually bonds to your tooth, the seal is tighter and the restored tooth can be even stronger than before.
- Composite resin fillings can also be made much smaller than an amalgam filling used to restore the same amount of decay tooth, so less natural tooth structure is lost.
Disadvantages of Tooth-colored fillings
- The durability of resin tooth-filling material has not been time-tested, but continual improvements in the product have been made resins nearly as durable as amalgam fillings.
- Cost – a resing filling cost about 150 to 200 percent more than a comparable silver filling.
- Most insurances benefits do not cover the additional cost for composite fillings, so you must pay the difference.
Which to choose?
Ultimately, the choice is a personal one for both dentists and patients. Do amalgam’s benefits outweigh the possible risks? Are tooth-colored fillings worth the significant extra cost? Which material will prove to be most cost-effective in the long run? We recommend your research your options, discuss them with your dentist and choose the filling material that is right for you based on what you’ve learned.
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The result is a beautiful smile!