Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Silver?

Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Silver?

Aug 01, 2023

Despite major innovations in dentistry, tooth decay, trauma, and other dental issues remain a major threat to good oral health. When your teeth are decayed or damaged, dental fillings help prevent further damage and restore your teeth’s normal function and aesthetics.

Traditionally, amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, were mainly used to repair cavities and tooth damage. However, over the years, dental technology has greatly improved, leading to the innovations of tooth-colored fillings.

In this article, let’s discuss more about silver and tooth-colored fillings and factors to consider when choosing the correct restoration for your smile.

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a restorative procedure to repair cavities and tooth damage. The process involves cleaning the damaged portions of the tooth and then filling the cleaned-out area or holes with a filling material. Visit our dental office for tooth filling in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Silver and Tooth-colored Fillings

  • 1. Material

Silver amalgam fillings are made from an alloy of metals like silver, copper, tin, and mercury. Silver amalgam fillings might not be ideal for you if you’re allergic to metal. On the other hand, tooth-colored fillings are made from a tooth-colored composite resin material made from plastic and fine glass particles. They are metal-free and thus ideal for people who are allergic to metal.

  • 2. Aesthetics

Tooth-colored fillings can be customized to match the color of the rest of your teeth closely. Thus, they offer better aesthetics and a more natural and harmonious smile.

Since silver fillings are made from metal, they have poor aesthetics. They are more noticeable when speaking or laughing and thus not ideal for front tooth restorations.

  • 3. Strength

Silver fillings are made from metals, making them sturdy and highly resistant to wear and damage. Thus, they are ideal for repairing the back teeth where great forces of chewing and grinding are expected.

While composite fillings are relatively strong, they’re less durable than silver fillings, making them less ideal for repairing the back teeth. They are commonly used for front teeth restorations.

  • 4. Durability

Thanks to their strength, silver amalgam fillings are typically more long-lasting than composite fillings. Amalgam fillings can last about 10 to 15 years, while composite fillings last about 7 to 10 years.

  • 5. Tooth preparation

Installing silver fillings requires significant tooth shaving to create enough room for the amalgam to adhere properly. This means that more of the tooth’s structure is removed, significantly weakening the tooth and making it more susceptible to future fractures and damage.

With tooth-colored fillings, the filling material is directly applied to the tooth in layers and thus requires minor tooth removal. Thus, they allow for a more conservative preparation, helping you maintain healthier teeth.

  • 6. Costs

Silver fillings are generally less expensive than tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings are more expensive and can cost up to twice as much as amalgam fillings.

  • 7. Health safety

Recent concerns have emerged about the safety of mercury composition in silver amalgam fillings. While the ADA claims that the low levels of mercury used in silver amalgam are safe for dental treatments, some people are still concerned about their safety.

They have no major health concerns with composite resin fillings, making them an excellent alternative to silver fillings.

  • 8. Respond to temperature changes

Since amalgam fillings are made from metals, they tend to expand or contract with extreme temperature changes like heat and cold, which can lead to tooth damage in the long run. Tooth-colored fillings don’t have such concerns.

  • 9. Easier to repair

Since tooth-colored fillings are bonded directly to the tooth, they can easily be repaired by applying more composite material to the tooth. With silver fillings, a damaged filling would generally require replacement.

Are tooth-colored fillings better than silver?

Whether tooth-colored fillings or silver fillings majorly depends on your condition and needs. If you have moderate tooth damage, especially at the back teeth, silver amalgam fillings may be ideal due to their strength and appearance.

However, if you’re repairing a front tooth, tooth-colored fillings may be suitable for a natural and aesthetically appealing smile. Our dentist will review your tooth’s condition and needs to help you choose the right filling material. We offer composite fillings in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Interested in Tooth-Colored Fillings in Chestnut Hill, MA?

Would you like to learn more about dental fillings? Or perhaps you need help choosing the right material for your dental filling? Contact Hammond Pond Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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