Silver fillings may have once been the, er, gold standard of dental care, but today there is a better option. Tooth-colored fillings blend flawlessly with your surrounding tooth enamel, while also restoring the health of the damaged tooth. Wondering whether or not you should have your silver fillings replaced with white ones? The answer is… it depends. Keep reading to learn more from Dr. Kostas, your dentist in Burlington.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
A filling is the material with which your dentist fills the hole (or cavity) left behind by tooth decay. Tooth-colored fillings (also known as “white” or “composite” fillings) are those made out of a natural-looking composite resin. The resin is a biocompatible mixture of smooth plastic and glass particles, and it comes with a precise color-matching guide to ensure the fillings blend well with the surrounding tooth enamel.
How Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Compare to Silver Ones?
The differences between tooth-colored fillings and the silver alternative go beyond the aesthetic appeal of the former — though that is one of the most significant. Some of the other differences include…
- White fillings actually bond with the tooth, restoring up to 85% of its original strength.
- Tooth-colored fillings are less sensitive than those made of silver.
- Less healthy tooth structure is removed to place a white filling.
- Composite resin does not expand and contract in response to to heat and cold.
- Tooth-colored fillings dry within minutes under a special light.
- Composite resin is completely metal-free.
With proper care, tooth-colored fillings can last as long (or longer) than silver ones.
Should Silver Fillings Be Replaced?
Given the prevalence of tooth-colored fillings and some patients’ increasing concern about the potential for mercury exposure with amalgam, the need for filling replacement is a common question these days. Wondering whether your old gray dental work should go? If it’s causing trouble, the answer is yes. But there is no definite answer for replacing healthy fillings. Instead, it really depends on how proactive you want to be.
Silver fillings can make it difficult to spot cracks and leaks later on — even on an x-ray. And because no dental work will last forever, the chances that you will experience a problem with the filling at some point are high.
Tooth-colored fillings are also completely mercury-safe. While the FDA has approved the use of amalgam for dentistry, some people prefer to remove the potential altogether by having their silver fillings replaced for white ones.
There is no right or wrong answer for preventive filling replacement, but having your fillings replaced now could potentially save you time, expense, and stress later on. Discuss the need for replacement with Dr. Kostas or .
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Whether you have a new cavity requiring filling or would like to talk about having your fillings replaced, we invite you to request an appointment with Complete Dental Care. Because we know restoring the health of your smile doesn’t have to come at the expense of its beauty!