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Amalgam Fillings vs White Fillings: Which is Best?

03/03/2022

When a cavity needs filling, you are offered two different materials – silver amalgam or white composite. In the past, patients only had the option of amalgam fillings, which could look unsightly – especially in front teeth. As technology has improved, white fillings made of composite are now a common option for both front and back teeth.

Each material has pros and cons, which we are going to cover and help you decide the best option for you.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are the go-to option at most NHS dental surgeries, due to the effectiveness and low cost of the material. However, the dark material can ruin the appearance of your smile if the filling needs to be placed at the front of the mouth. Most patients choose to pay more for a white filling in this case.

Silver fillings are a low-cost option for filling cavities and treatment time is slighter shorter than white fillings, as with white fillings the area needs to be completely dry before the composite can be applied.

Unfortunately, amalgam fillings do not last as long as white fillings and need to be replaced over time. As they wear away, they become darker in colour and can cause teeth sensitivity.

White Fillings

Not only used to fill cavities, white composite can also be used to make minor aesthetic changes to your teeth. These small changes, such as a chipped tooth being repaired, blends into the natural shape and colour of your teeth which can help improve your bite and aesthetics.

White Filling Advantages

  • White fillings require less drilling
  • White fillings can blend into the surrounding tooth
  • Less health risks than amalgam fillings
  • Patients report less discomfort/sensitivity post-treatment
  • White fillings are stronger and less prone to cracking

If you require a new filling or need old ones replaced, most dentists will recommend white fillings as they are the best option long term.

For more information on white fillings.

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