Since it’s difficult to get through life without a cavity, it’s important to know your treatment options and why most dentists prefer one over the other. Composite resin fillings are commonly called “white” fillings, and amalgam metallic alloy fillings are referred to as “silver.”
Composite Resin “White” Fillings
There was a time when white composite fillings were considered less durable and were mainly used for front teeth for cosmetic purposes, but this is no longer the case. Composite fillings have been proven to have strength and durability, making them a viable option for restorative needs. White fillings look like your natural tooth structure, so no matter how many cavities you have, they can remain hidden. Some advantages of composite resin fillings are:
- Natural tooth color
- Less original tooth structure must be removed, so less drilling is required.
- Bonds directly to the tooth, preventing future breaks
- Reparable if damaged
- Less sensitivity to temperature changes
Amalgam Metallic Alloy “Silver” Fillings
Amalgam metallic alloy fillings were placed by dentists for over 100 years and are still used today in some offices. However, amalgam has its drawbacks:
- Tarnishes over time, darkening of the tooth
- Doesn’t bond with tooth tissue, so more natural tooth structure needs to be removed to ensure proper adhesion
- Responds to temperature changes leading to hot and cold sensitivity
- Expands over time, possibly causing damage to the tooth that will need to be repaired
In most cases, a composite filling will be your best choice. This is why we only use white fillings on a routine basis.
If you have additional questions or need to come for a visit, you can request an appointment online or call us at 828-631-3283.
David S. McGuire, DDS