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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

White Fillings vs. Silver Fillings

Who wants silver fillings in their mouth? Some people may, but these days most don’t. Should I have my silver fillings removed? If they are doing well, No! Although silver alloy is still an acceptable material with which to fill teeth, we use only white composite fillings in our office.

Early on, white composite fillings just didn’t hold up as well as the silver ones. Recently, white filling materials have improved enough to compete favorably with silver alloy. Silver fillings do not actually stick or bond to the tooth. Consequently, more tooth structure had to be removed to keep the things from falling out. Composite fillings actually bond to the tooth thus necessitating less removal of tooth structure. They insulate from cold better and act more like a tooth under the stresses of biting. Plus, they just look more natural.

One problem with white fillings is that the technique in placing them can be more exacting. You have to keep the area pretty dry. That can be difficult on a wiggly kid! But hey, we're Pediatric Dentists, we can do anything!

It must be said that once a cavity becomes too large, any kind of filling is not a good idea. In those cases, a crown is needed to cover the whole tooth.

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