White Fillings vs Silver Fillings

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White Fillings vs Silver Fillings

Cavities can be caused by an influx of bad bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, sugary drinks, and poor oral hygiene. Unfortunately, it’s likely that you have at least one cavity right now for one of these reasons. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have cavities in their permanent teeth.

People who suspect they have a cavity should visit their dentist as soon as possible. When cavities go untreated, patients are more susceptible to root canal infection and tooth abscesses.

Once a dentist confirms the patient has one or more cavities, she will likely suggest dental fillings as treatment. At this point, the patient has a choice: white fillings or silver fillings?

Read this blog to learn about the pros and cons of each type of filling.

White Fillings

White fillings are also called composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings and are made from ceramic and plastic. While composite fillings are more sought after because of their appearance, they aren’t usually covered by insurance. This is because white fillings aren’t quite as strong as silver fillings.

Even so, white fillings offer several benefits, including:

  • Tooth preservation: With white fillings, less of the natural tooth needs to be removed, so the natural tooth is stronger.
  • Expansion and contraction: Silver fillings are susceptible to expanding and contracting when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. White fillings are more insulated, so they are less likely to expand and contract when they encounter extreme temperatures.
  • Durability: Though they still aren’t as strong as silver fillings, composite fillings have come a long way in the past ten years. Dentists are more comfortable than ever with placing white fillings on the back molars without fear of cracking.

Of course, the color of composite fillings is what most patients are attracted to. White fillings match the patient’s existing teeth, and modern technology allows the dentist to adjust the color to match the patient’s tooth perfectly. Only you and your dentist will know its there!

Silver Fillings

Also called dental amalgams, silver fillings are made of the strongest materials—silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Silver fillings were first used in 1826 and scientists have continued to improve them ever since. Now, dental amalgams are one of the most used materials for treating cavities.

Here are the main advantages of silver fillings:

  • Affordability: Even for patients who don’t have insurance, dental amalgams are much more affordable than white fillings.
  • Resilience: Because silver fillings are made from such strong materials, they are extremely durable—able to withstand the immense pressure that is placed on the back molars. Additionally, silver fillings are known to last at least 10 to 15 years.
  • Trustworthy: Silver amalgam fillings have been used for over 150 years. Dentists and patients fully trust their ability to get the job done.

While silver fillings are something to consider, many dentists are concerned about putting their patients at risk for mercury poisoning. No long-term studies have been completed that explain how the placement of silver amalgam fillings affects a person over time. For this reason, some dentists only offer white fillings.

Our Grant Park Dentist

The best way to determine which option is best for your smile is to visit with an experienced and trusted dentist. At Smiles 4 Grant Park, Dr. Abbey J. Lee is prepared to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile again.

To schedule an initial consultation, call 404-328-7177 today.

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