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How do I choose between amalgam and white fillings?

How do I choose between amalgam and white fillings?

White fillings or amalgam?  We can help you decide!

Most people will need fillings at some point in their lives, and, thanks to improvements in technology, many patients are now choosing white (also called tooth-coloured fillings, or composite fillings) rather than traditional silver (amalgam) fillings. There are many benefits in choosing white or composite fillings:

Advantages of white fillings

–   White fillings can be matched to the colour of your surrounding teeth

–   White fillings don’t contain mercury as amalgam fillings do, so there are no health risks associated with the use of white fillings

–   Some people find they experience less post-treatment discomfort and sensitivity when using white fillings rather than amalgam

–   Amalgam fillings can often hide further tooth decay in the future on x-rays, whereas white fillings don’t have this problem

–   Teeth filled with white fillings are less prone to cracking

Disadvantages of white fillings

Although most patients would rather choose white fillings, there are some disadvantages:

–   White coloured fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings

–   Filling cavities with white fillings is a slightly more skilled procedure than using amalgam fillings, which is why it’s important to           be treated by a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist

–   White fillings take a little longer than amalgam fillings. This is partly because the area has to be completely dry before the        composite mixture can be applied.

What are amalgam or silver fillings made of?

Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury makes up around half the mixture, and is the only element that can bind the amalgam together in so it can be easily moulded to fill a cavity.

What are white or tooth-coloured fillings made of?

White or tooth-coloured fillings can be made of a number of materials, including synthetic and ceramic compounds and glass particles. Your dentist should be able to tell you more about the type of material they use.

Are amalgam or silver fillings stronger than white or tooth-coloured fillings?

Although white fillings once had a reputation for being less hardwearing, technology has moved on rapidly over the last decade, and white fillings are now much stronger. The additional benefits mean white fillings are increasingly the first choice for people who need their teeth filled.

Should I replace my silver or amalgam fillings with white fillings?

That depends. Many people decide to wait until their amalgam filling needs replacing, whereas others choose to go ahead and replace them immediately. Your dentist may recommend replacing the largest amalgam fillings first. Your dentist will be able to advise.

Our dental practice offers white fillings. Remember – it is important to visit your dentist regularly to make sure cavities can be detected and treated as soon as possible. Contact us today to book your appointment.