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White Fillings Vs Silver – Which Will Your Dentist Recommend?

White Fillings Vs Silver - Which Will Your Dentist Recommend

If you have ever needed a dental filling for one of your teeth, your dentist might have given you two options: silver and white fillings. But, have you ever wondered what these fillings are made of and what makes them different? If you’re interested in knowing more about dental fillings, this blog is for you. So, continue reading and learn the difference between silver amalgam and composite fillings, so that you can make an informed decision regarding your treatment when needed. 

Which One Lasts Longer, Silver Fillings Or White Fillings?

To understand which of these two fillings lasts longer, we must know what they are made of. Silver fillings are made by mixing liquid mercury and powdered metal alloy. The result is a silver mixture that gradually turns hard over time. On the other hand, tooth-coloured composite fillings are made of polymeric resins that are hardened using a special light. Overall, silver amalgam fillings, being metal-based, are considerably stronger and more durable. However, silver fillings are not commonly used these days due to their unaesthetic metallic appearance. 

Are White Fillings Better Than Metal?

Both types of dental fillings have their own merits and demerits. For example, silver fillings are strong and long-lasting but lack natural aesthetics. On the other hand, composite fillings have reasonable strength and clinical life but have excellent, natural-like aesthetics. So, if we compare silver and composite fillings based on their aesthetics, composite fillings are certainly better than amalgam restorations. 

have reasonable strength and clinical life but have excellent, natural-like aesthetics. So, if we compare silver and composite fillings based on their aesthetics, composite fillings are certainly better than amalgam restorations. 

Is It Normal For White Composite Tooth Fillings To Turn Black?

Tooth-coloured fillings are designed to blend in perfectly with the natural teeth. However, it is not normal for white filings to turn black. It may be because of underlying tooth decay at the filling-tooth margin. So, one should consult their dentist immediately for treatment if they observe a black spot on their white fillings. 

What Does It Mean If A Dental Filling Turns Black?

Tooth-coloured fillings have the unique capability to precisely match the shade and colour of the adjacent teeth, thereby becoming virtually invisible. However, composite restorations tend to get stained over time. If you observe that one of your bonded restorations has turned black, it may either be due to staining or because of secondary cavities forming around the restoration. In either case, you should consult with your dentist to seek appropriate treatment. 

Are White Fillings Better Suited To Large Cavities?

Although white fillings possess reasonable strength and durablity, they may not be suitable for restoring grossly damaged teeth. The reason is that if the filling is too large, it may crack or fracture under its own weight or put pressure on the remaining tooth structure causing it to chip or crack. In such cases, dentists consider using indirect restorations like inlays or onlays, or reinforcing the white filling with a porcelain crown

Do Fillings Cause Tooth Decay Underneath The Fillings?

Yes, it is possible for tooth decay to develop underneath whtie filings. This happens when oral hygeine maintenance through brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups is ignored. As a result, plaque begins to adhere on the tooth and filling’s surface. Over time, decay starts to develop at the filling-tooth margin and travels deeper into the tooth’s surface. If such a situation is not controlled timely, it can lead to the dislodgment of the restoration or, worse, fracture of the tooth due to weakening.

What Makes Dental Amalgams Vary In Color?

Amalgam fillings appear mainly grey. However, these fillings can have different shades. This depends on the ratio of the liquid mercury and powdered metal alloy. This ratio also affects the mechanical properties and the durability of the restoration. 

What Are The Advantage Of Composite Fillings?

If you are thinking of getting composite fillings, here are some of their advantages that can help you decide:

  1. Excellent esthetics - become virtually indistinguishable from the adjacent teeth 
  2. Reasonable strength and durability 
  3. Can be repaired in case of minor cracks or chips 
  4. Can be refreshed if composite fillings get stained 
  5. Bond directly to tooth structure 
  6. Safe for use in the oral cavity

Can I Replace Silver Fillings With White?

There have been concerns regarding the safety of the silver amalgam fillings owing to mercury released in the oral cavity and bloodstream through ingestion. Therefore, some dentists recommend replacing amalgam fillings with white fillings. Similarly, amalgam fillings can also be replaced with white fillings if someone is not happy with their greyish appearance, The process involved is very simple; your dentist will remove the amalgam filling, followed by applying a mild acid over the cavity to create microporostites on the surface to facilitate bonding. Afterwards, they will apply the composite filling and harden them in increments by exposing them to a special light, until the desired shape and aesthetics have been achieved. That’s it; your amalgam fillings have been replaced with white fillings! 

How Long Do White Fillings Last?

Despite their excellent aesthetics, composite fillings are not as durable as amalgam fillings. According to Healthline, the average service life of composite fillings in 7 years. However, their lifetime can be considerably increased with proper oral hygiene care, diet management, and regular dental checkups. 

If you are looking for an excellent cosmetic dentist in Chingford for getting white fillings, Chingford Mount Dental Practice is your best option. We offer the best dental services in town at affordable rates. So, get in touch with us today to discuss your treatment options with our team. We look forward to seeing you at our Chingford office.