White Fillings Vs Amalgam Fillings?

White Fillings Vs Amalgam Fillings
Advanced Dental Aesthetics
10 Jun, 2021

It’s an inescapable fact of life that some people, no matter what their age, will be affected by some form of tooth decay during their life. Not everyone has a perfect lifestyle with a perfect diet and a perfect oral health regime. Unfortunately, not living “perfectly” will have an effect on your oral health and if you have a poor diet you’re much more likely to suffer from tooth decay.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is, not to put too fine a point on it, the rotting of your teeth. Bacteriagets stuck in the crevices of your teeth and starts to break down the structure of your teeth,if it’s not removed. As your tooth breaks down cavities are created which further erode your teeth and surrounding areas.

In order to stop further tooth decay your cavities need to be restored as soon as possible. The most successful treatment for this is commonly known as fillings.  YourAdvanced Dental Aesthetic dentist in Southend, Essex, will drill through your decayed tooth to even it out and remove the debris, and then a filling will be applied. There are amalgam fillings, also known as silver or mercury fillings which have been used for filling cavities for a long time. New advances in dental fillings include the composite, or the white cavity fillings, which offer cosmetic benefits.

Are there any other differences between white and silver filling? Well, here are a few points contrasting and comparing White fillings vs. silver amalgam fillings that will help you in seeking more information about them.

What are white fillings?

White fillings, also known as composite fillings, consist of a composite resin which is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Early dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not resilient enough to resist the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth, however,in recent years composite white fillings have been greatly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth as well. Composites are not only used for restoring decay but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the colour of the teeth or reshaping flawed teeth.

What are the advantages of white fillings?

Most patients who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. At Advanced Dental Aestheticin Southend, Essex,we’ll create a white filling that is matched to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your teeth after decay is removed to prevent breakage of the remaining tooth structure. These fillings also help to prevent sensitivity that can occur after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.

Are there any disadvantages to white fillings?

After receiving a composite filling, some patients may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if you drink tea, coffee or other staining foods. Your Advanced Dental Aesthetics dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the colour from changing if you are particularly concerned about tooth colour.

Are white fillings safe?

White composite fillings are increasingly used as an alternative to silver amalgam fillings, largely due to their aesthetic appeal, and because of mercury concerns. If you have any concerns about white fillings please discuss them with one of the dental team at Advanced Dental Aestheticsin Southend, Essex

Why choose composite white fillings over silver amalgam fillings?

Composite white fillings allow our Southend dentists to preserve more of the natural tooth structure. This is because composite materials chemically bond to the surface of the tooth like a glue. The process takes slightly longer to complete than traditional silver amalgam fillings, but patients can preserve more of the natural portion of the teeth.

Are white fillings better than amalgam fillings?

At Advanced Dental Aestheticsin Southend, Essex,we’ll always recommend white fillings because today’s composite filling materials are made of incredibly strong and durable resin polymer materials and their matrix is often re-enforced with nano-hybrid glass ceramics which increase the wear resistance and compressive strength of the material.

The preparation of the tooth for a white filling is much more conservative than for a mercury filling and so when tooth decay is removed it means that more tooth structure is left in-tact and therefore the tooth remains stronger and is more durable.

How do dentists use composite white fillings?

The first thing your Advanced Dental Aesthetics dentist will do is prepare your tooth for filling. Following preparation, the composite is placed in layers, using a light specialised to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the composite is shaped to fit the tooth. It’s then polished to prevent staining and wear.

How do I make my white fillings last longer?

Delivered correctly by experienced dentists your white fillings should last at least ten years; longer if you look after your teeth, have a good oral hygiene regime and see your Southend dentist and hygienist at least once every six months.

What are amalgam fillings?

Amalgam fillings have been used by dentists to fill the cavities in your teeth, for many years. Amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings,” because of their colour but are in fact made primarily (50%) of elemental mercury along with a mixture of powdered metals including silver, tin, and copper.

What are the advantages of amalgam fillings?

Very strong and long-lasting: They don’t break or come off easily and once applied, can last smoothly for around 10- 15 years. They easily take the contour of your cavity and get hardened and fused with it.

Useful in severe tooth decay: Can be used in patients with extensive decay or multiple teeth decayed, Also, for people who are at a high risk of developing decay, amalgam fillings are affordable and more convenient.

Can be used in moist areas: Moisture is not a hindrance in the setting of amalgam fillings unlike composite fillings. They can easily be used in areas where moisture is inevitable.

Economical: The cost of amalgam fillings is less as compared to the composite fillings. This makes them more cost-effective.

Useful for back teeth: The teeth at the back of your dentition, i.e., molars and premolars have to withstand the greater force of biting and chewing. Therefore, the filling material for back teeth should be very strong.

What are the disadvantages of amalgam fillings?

Metallic glint: The bright silvery metallic glint is evident whenever you open your mouth to laugh out loud. Some patients find this doesn’t look as nice as with white fillings.

Mercury vapours: The major proportion of amalgam tooth fillings is elemental mercury. Mercury is known to be released in the form of vapours and gets inhaled by the lungs and reaches other body organs. Some dentists think there’s a small risk it may pose toxic effects on organs of the body.

Questions on safety in pregnant women: Some dentists believe that mercury may lead to neurotoxic effects in foetuses and neonates, but there is no clear data or evidence for this.

Mercury sensitivity: Some people may be allergic to mercury without knowing it and may develop a hypersensitivity reaction to it. It may lead to the formation of new lesions in the oral cavity.

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If you’re interested in more information on white or amalgam fillings then please contact the practice today.

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