Dental Update

Silver vs. White Fillings

A filling is a material placed in the tooth to replace lost tooth substance, usually due to decay. Various materials can be used as fillings such as: Amalgam (silver), Composite or Glass Ionomers (white). Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of finely powdered silver, copper and mercury which forms a material used to fill a tooth. Composite fillings are made up of tooth coloured resin filling materials and Glass Ionomer fillings are made up from tooth coloured glass filling materials. In today’s dentistry white composite fillings are generally the most predominantly used fillings as they are efficient, long lasting and cosmetically aesthetic as they are matched to the tooth colour of the patient. Glass Ionomer fillings are usually only used in shallow cavities and children’s teeth. Amalgam fillings were predominantly used before Composite fillings were created as they were the strongest and most durable at the time. Most dentists and patients opt now for the Composite fillings as they usually go unnoticed visually along with being a strong durable substance to preserve the the remaining tooth.