Silver Filling Vs White Filling - Which Type Is Best?
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, your dentist may recommend a suitable filling for restoring it. If you search the internet for dental fillings, you will come across various materials. The two most commonly used dental fillings are white fillings and silver amalgam fillings. If you are confused about choosing these two and wonder which of these is a suitable option, we will provide all the information about these filing materials in this blog so that you can make an informed decision. So, read on!
What Is A Tooth-Colored Filling?
According to the National Health Service, tooth-coloured fillings, bonded restorations or composite fillings are made of a mixture of polymer resins and glass. The best thing about these restorations is that your dentist can precisely match their shade with your natural teeth. Therefore, bonded restorations blend perfectly and become virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. White fillings are among the most commonly used dental restorations worldwide due to their excellent aesthetics.
How Long Do White Fillings Last?
The service life of white filings depends on various factors, including the quality of the material used, the dentist’s skill, and most importantly, how well they have been looked after. However, according to Healthline, the average clinical life of small white filings is around 10 years, with good oral hygiene maintenance. Unfortunately, the service life of composite fillings can decrease significantly if oral hygiene maintenance is ignored or if hard or sticky foods are regularly chewed with the restored teeth.
Which One Lasts Longer, Silver Fillings Or White Fillings?
Silver amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of liquid mercury and powdered metal alloys. This mixture, called amalgam, hardens to become a robust and durable dental filling. Research has shown that silver amalgam fillings can last up to 45 years if they are looked after properly. So, amalgam fillings last considerably longer than composite restorations. However, the only drawback of silver fillings is their conspicuous metallic appearance.
Are White Fillings Better Than Metal?
Every dental material has its own merits and demerits. For example, amalgam fillings are strong, cost-effective, and durable. However, their placement requires sacrificing healthy natural tooth structure. Besides, mercury released from old and worn amalgam filings can cause a health concern. On the other hand, composite restorations are aesthetically pleasing and safe and do not require excessive natural tooth removal for their attachment as they can bond directly with the tooth structure. However, composite fillings are not as durable as silver amalgam restorations. Therefore, composite restorations are a better option if aesthetics and safety are your primary concerns. Alternatively, amalgam fillings are a suitable option if your foremost requirement is durability.
Is It Normal For White Composite Tooth Fillings To Turn Black?
White fillings do not typically turn black very quickly. Therefore, if a tooth-coloured filling turns black, it always indicates an underlying problem. For example, a black line may form around the tooth and the filling’s margins if a white filling is damaged or leaking. Similarly, black staining of composite filllings can also occur due to smoking and excessive intake of strong-coloured foods and beverages. Unfortunately, black stains on white fillings cannot be whitened; the only solution is to repair or replace the filling with a new one.
Is It True That Silver Teeth Fillings Have Mercury In Them?
Silver amalgam fillings comprise a mixture of liquid mercury and powdered metal alloys. However, there is no need to worry because once these two components are mixed, a solid compound forms that prevent mercury leakage into the oral cavity. So, properly prepared and placed amalgam fillings usually do not cause health concerns, however properly supervised removal is advised. The only drawback of these fillings is their metallic appearance.
Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Safer Than Silver Fillings?
Tooth-coloured fillings are made of polymers and glass-based fillers, which are safe for use in the oral cavity. Previously, there were some concerns regarding the presence of BPA in composite fillings, a toxic substance. However, research has shown that most contemporary composite fillings are BPA-free. Furthermore, even for those that contain this chemical, the amount is so low that it will not cause any adverse effects. On the other hand, silver amalgam fillings contain mercury and carry a health hazard if they are not appropriately placed.
Do Dentists Still Use Silver For Cavity Fillings?
Yes, dentists still use silver fillings for restoring teeth, especially the back ones. However, their use has declined considerably over the years. This is because many patients do not like to get these restorations as they have a distinct metallic appearance that affects their smile and facial aesthetics. Today, dental patients prefer white fillings due to thier natural aesthetics. But if we consider their durability, silver amalgam fillings are a good option for restoring the back teeth that receive heavy biting forces and last much longer than white fillings.
In today’s world, people have become very conscious about their appearance and smile. Today, someone with a chipped or cracked tooth will prefer to have it restored with a tooth-coloured filling so that their facial aesthetics are not compromised. So, if you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Liverpool who can fix your crooked teeth and give you a Hollywood smile in Liverpool, Crosby Dental is your best option. Why? Because we offer the best general and cosmetic dentistry services under one roof at affordable rates. So, book a new patient appointment today and walk away with your dream smile.
GDC No: 64847
Peter qualified from Manchester University Dental School in 1989 and after returning to his hometown of Liverpool, he established Crosby Dental. He has a special interest in high-end cosmetic dentistry and orthodontic treatments. Peter offers private treatment only.