Find information about the pros and cons of white composite fillings versus silver amalgam fillings, see important differences between these two types.

Amalgam and White Composite Fillings

Amalgam and White Composite Fillings

composite_fillingsBeing a patient, your dentist should enlighten you of the convenience of the white composite fillings. If you have had amalgamation fillings placed in your mouth without being proposed the alternative of having white fillings instead, the dentist has not performed his official duty.

Getting the opportunity to make a fully informed choice, the huge majority of today's dental patients will prefer the white fillings. There are several reasons for this, among others the fact that the mercury in amalgam fillings is viewed as potentially toxic. In addition, the white composite filling represents a more highly developed technology. Moreover, composite is more esthetic. Taking into account all these reasons, patients are challenging white filling. Moreover with today's technology, composite fillings can easily resist to the stress necessary to serve in a back tooth.

See how beautiful these teeth look after removing the old fillings and replacing them with bonded white fillings. Besides looking better, these teeth are now more resistant to fracture.

1. From the time when they attached to the tooth, composite fillings reinstate most of the original strength of the tooth.
2. Silver weakens the teeth, making them more inclined to breaking. As broken teeth are very expensive to restore, composites can save a lot of expense in the end.
3. Composite fillings restore the natural appearance of the tooth.
4. Teeth restored with white fillings are less sensitive to hot and cold than teeth restored with amalgam, if correct techniques are used.
5. Composites are mercury-free. Mercury in the fillings is viewed by some as being toxic.
6. Composites require less removal of tooth structure. In particular with new cavities, the size of the hole made for the filling can be noticeably smaller with composites.

1. Silver amalgam fillings are generally less expensive. Composite fillings, if they are done properly, take about 60% longer period of time, involve special knowledge and expensive materials, are more difficult to put, consequently they cost considerably more than silver. Dental insurance companies will usually not refund this extra cost.
2. General dentists can position amalgam fillings without extra training. Composite requires the use of special bonding technology that many dentists are unskilled at.
3. The proper placement of a white filling requires that the place for the filling be kept absolutely isolated from saliva at the same time as it is being placed. On some patients, it is difficult to keep the tooth isolated for the period of the procedure, especially in the very back of the mouth. This can also be uncomfortable for the patients themselves. A silver amalgam filling does not require this strict isolation of the tooth.
4. The filling by itself is a stronger material, although it weakens the tooth.
5. Silver fillings have a longer history of use than mercury-free fillings, therefore some feel that they are more tried and tested.

There is one caution: the composite fillings can be seriously damaged by excessive alcohol consumption. If you have a habit of consuming drinks with high alcohol content (whiskey, etc.) every day, you may find the composite fillings worsening hastily.