For a long time, silver or amalgam fillings were the dental standard for patching up cavities. It did the job well, but there was an unintended side effect – that silvery metallic glare that made your teeth look artificial. Your smile isn't the only thing that's negatively affected by silver fillings though. Because they're made of metal, it can actually stain your teeth over time. A sudden change in temperate also makes the metal contract, which can fracture your teeth.
Thankfully there's an alternative now — composite or white fillings. They are a natural looking alternative to silver fillings, but their advantages go beyond mere aesthetics.
Composite vs Silver Fillings
Many dentists in Meridian, including Scott W. Grant, DMD, strongly recommend composite fillings over silver. In fact, most dental clinics don't offer silver anymore at all! This is because in the long run, composite is both safer and more durable than silver amalgam.
As its name suggests, composite white fillings are made of a mixture of glass and plastics.These are tooth-colored, so they are nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth unlike silver which really stands out. In fact, you can actually ask your dentist what kind of color your fillings will be–whether they're purely white or a more natural tooth color.
Since they are made of composite materials, they do not contract or expand when exposed to changing temperatures. This means there is no risk of it cracking or expanding, giving you freedom to eat and drink whatever you like. More importantly, white fillings do not contain any mercury unlike silver amalgam.
Is it Worth the Price?
Considering the aesthetic and functional benefits of white fillings, it is understandably more expensive than silver amalgam. The price may turn you off, but what you're getting is a peace of mind.
One of the rarely known advantages of white fillings is that the composite resin can easily fill the cavities of your teeth since it's applied in a pseudo-liquid state. The dentist hardens the resin with a special light, which then snuggly fits into place. With silver amalgam, there is a chance that the dentist has to remove some tooth structure to place it–doing more damage than repair.
Composite white fillings may be pricier than silver amalgam, but it's also the safer bet and will last a long time with proper care. Not only will you be restoring the look of your teeth and smiles, you're also restoring its natural function.