Silver (amalgam) or White (composite) fills?
A question we get all the time- what is the difference between silver (amalgam) fillings and white (composite resin) fillings?
Amalgam restorations are a mixture of a powdered alloy (tin-silver and copper) and liquid mercury.
- Pros- cheap and effective way to restore a decayed tooth
- Cons- less conservative to tooth structure, unideal for esthetics, current research on health effects to the rest of the body
Amalgam fillings are retained in the tooth by mechanical bonding. The dentist must cut small "boxes" into the tooth where the amalgam will plug into to be retained.
Composite restorations are a mixture of a tooth-colored resin and glass fixture.
- Pros- More conservative to tooth structure, blend in with the teeth
- Cons- Some insurances do not cover and may be slightly more in cost than amalgam fillings
Composite fillings are chemically bonded directly to the tooth. The dentist does not have to drill out the small "boxes" in the tooth as they do for amalgams. Ultimately, the composite fillings are more conservative with your tooth structure which is our goal in dentistry!