Fillings – practically all of us end up with at least a few of them in our lifetime, and your family dentist knows that fillings are a major cause of anxiety. Having your family dentist discover a cavity on an x-ray and place a filling is a sharp reminder of how important it is to take good care of our teeth by practicing regular brushing and flossing. But when your family dentist finds a cavity and it’s time to get a filling, there is a big question to answer: silver or white fillings?
Silver fillings are made of a material called dental amalgam, which is a mixture of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Family dentists have been using dental amalgam for over 150 years. It’s a very strong and durable material, and many dentists think it’s easy to work with. However, some people are nervous about the idea of having mercury installed in their mouth, and others don’t want any flashes of silver to be visible in their mouth. Numerous studies have shown that the mercury in amalgam fillings is virtually harmless; we absorb more mercury from food and drinks than we do from a mouth full of silver fillings.
White fillings are called resin composite fillings by the pros. They are made of ceramic and plastic compounds, and have been used for decades when filling front teeth, where the filling would be visible when a person smiles. In the past, resin composite fillings were not considered strong enough to endure the grinding and chewing performed by molar teeth. However, in the past several years, technology has created a stronger, more durable resin composite filling, and these white fillings are now widely used by family dentists for molars as well as front teeth. Still, some dental insurance plans will not cover the placement of resin composite fillings in molars.
So is a silver or white filling the right choice for you? That decision is up to you and your family dentist, by taking into consideration the size and location of the cavity, your dental health history, cosmetic concerns, and cost. Whatever your decision, your family dentist can answer any questions you have and put you at ease about the filling process. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Loper by completing the Make An Appointment form on our website: www.paulloperdds.com