Years ago if you had a cavity your dentist would automatically fill it with a silver colored filling. In more recent years white colored fillings have become available. Many people ask us what is the difference between these two fillings and which one is best for their child. Today we will go through all of the details you need to decide what type of filling is best for your kiddos.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver fillings are not actually made entirely of silver. They are a mixture of silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They are called amalgam fillings. The thought of having mercury in your mouth does not make people very comfortable. The FDA has done extensive research on the amalgam fillings and has concluded that they are safe for adults and children over the age of 6.
• Pros:
– Amalgam fillings last between 10 and 15 years.
– They are incredibly strong.
– Amalgam fillings are also cheaper sometimes. Many insurances have a lower rate for patients that choose amalgam fillings.
– This type of filling takes less treatment time when you are at the dentist.
• Cons:
– The first one that most people will mention is that they do not look as good as a tooth-colored option.
– Amalgam requires more of your healthy tooth be removed to make room for the filling.
– When the temperature in your mouth changes amalgam fillings expand and contract. Over time this decreases the integrity of the tooth.
– Amalgam fillings do not work well if the cavity is too small.

White Composite Fillings

Over the years a new type of filling was introduced. A composite filling is tooth-colored. There are no health dangers associated with the white composite fillings.
• Pros:
– A composite filling lasts for 7 to 10 years. This is less than amalgam fillings but is still a large amount of time. If you have excellent oral hygiene sometimes they can last even longer than 10 years.
– Your fillings will blend in with the color of your teeth. Many people are extremely embarrassed about their amalgam fillings. People choose to replace their amalgam fillings with composite fillings just for aesthetic reasons.
– More of your healthy tooth can be saved during treatment than when amalgam fillings are used.
– Your tooth and the composite material bond together and make for a stronger surface.
• Cons:
– They may cost more than amalgam fillings. Some insurances do not cover composite fillings at all.
– Treatment will take a little bit longer to complete.
– Risk of chipping is higher than with amalgam fillings.

Pediatric Dentistry

We hope that this information has been educational for you. If you still have questions about what type of filling to choose for your children please give Smile Reef a call. We would be happy to talk over the options with you. We know the kind of love and protection parents feel towards their children. We want to ensure that you are completely comfortable with whatever decision you make.