Composite (white) fillings and amalgam (silver) fillings are the most common types of dental fillings used in pediatric dentistry. Knowing which filling is best for your child can get confusing. Sometimes, insurance decides for you, but for when you get the option, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss the difference between composite fillings and amalgam fillings.

What Do Dental Fillings Do?

In order to fill cavities and restore teeth from damage, dental fillings are used. The enamel, top layer of the tooth, is caused to decay, from the cavities that form when bacteria build up on a tooth. It develops into a small hole as the cavity penetrates deeper into the tooth. It is necessary to fill the hole, and this is when a dental filling, or cavity filling comes in. In order to prevent further damage, the tooth also needs to be cleaned.

What Happens if Cavities Do Not Get Filled?

Irreparable damage to the teeth and/or jawbone can be caused by severe infections that can set in when the cavities that are not filled. The easier and more effective treatment will be, the sooner we can catch a cavity. To catch these cavities sooner than later, routine exams with an experienced team are essential. Also, you can prevent nerve damage and painful symptoms by catching cavities early in their development.

Dental Filling Material

As mentioned, composite resin fillings and amalgam silver fillings are the two most common types of dental fillings.

Composite Fillings

– Made of plastic materials, glass, and resin, composite fillings are tooth-colored fillings. These feeling are usually the most common type of filling we use for children. For a less noticeable appearance than amalgam fillings, resin fillings are made to imitate the natural appearance of the teeth.
1) From surrounding teeth, composite fillings, or white fillings, are almost indistinguishable.
2) Making them strong and less likely to pop out of place, the material bonds well to teeth.
3) More of the natural tooth structure is preserved.
1) More costly than amalgam fillings are composite fillings
2) It can be challenging if young children are not under conscious sedation, composite fillings take longer to place than amalgam fillings.

Silver Fillings

– A mixture of metals, including silver, tin and mercury is amalgam. It has a noticeable appearance and can make teeth more sensitive, however, amalgam fillings are generally strong and durable.
1) In most areas that have lost tooth structure, including large cavities, amalgam can be placed.
2) It holds up well against biting pressures since amalgam is durable.
3) Some of the most affordable types of fillings are silver fillings.
1) It is more obvious since amalgam is silver-colored.
2) Mercury is about 50% of the material used in silver fillings, and it is an element that is toxic to humans.
3) Cracks can develop over time and potentially straining teeth; amalgam can expand and contract.

Pediatric Dentistry

Whether you suspect your child has a cavity or simply need a routine visit, call the professionals of Smile Reef and let us assist you.