Made from a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper, but mostly made out of mercury, amalgam fillings, along with white fillings are two of the most common options recommended by dental practitioners to restore cavity damaged teeth back to its original form.
Both types of fillings present their own advantages and disadvantages. Because of this, it’s important to understand how different the two are so that you can make the best choice whenever the opportunity presents itself.
White fillings and its advantages
Made of composite resin, white fillings are tooth-colored plastic mixtures. They’re filled with different materials, usually including quartz, silica and sometimes, barium for added strength.
The use of white fillings was first introduced back in the 1960s and has slowly become more popular over the years.
Perhaps, it’s no coincidence that the quality has also improved since then and has become one of the most effective ways to fill cavities both for your front and back teeth.
Some of the main advantages of white fillings include:
- The materials bond to your teeth, which helps restore its original strength. Also, unlike mercury fillings, the material won’t expand and contract because of the fluctuating temperatures inside your mouth. This makes them a bit more durable and cheaper because you won’t have to spend much on future restorations.
- White fillings can also be made to match the shade of other teeth. This helps make them look more natural.
- White fillings are also less likely to affect your teeth’s sensitivity to hot and cold.
- There exists a debate among dental practitioners that the use of mercury carries certain health hazards. With white fillings, you’re free from the potential risks involved with the use of mercury.
- The size of the hole made for white fillings to fit is usually much smaller.
Mercury fillings and its advantages
If white fillings have been around for half a century, mercury fillings have been around for a century more. As in, 150 years.
The fillings are usually made from mercury and combined with an alloy powder containing a mixture of silver, zinc, copper and tin.
The presence of mercury helps bind together the said metals, forming a durable and long-lasting filling.
Some of the main advantages of mercury fillings include:
- Mercury fillings are cheap and are usually covered by dental insurance.
- Because they’ve been around for much longer, most, if not all, dental practitioners are allowed to place mercury fillings.
- Mercury fillings are much easier to fit as compared to white fillings.
- Mercury fillings weaken your teeth over time. However, the materials used are far stronger compared to those used for white fillings, which you could also make the case for mercury fillings being much more durable
What do I choose?
Overall, however, white fillings present itself as a much better choice as it helps preserve the natural structure and strength of your teeth. Not only that, but white fillings also provide better long term tooth production.
Still, both treatments are equally as effective as the other and as such, you’re not exactly losing out on anything, regardless of whichever you choose.
To make the right choice, it’s best for you to discuss this with your dental practitioner and for you to spend some time to think about the different pros and cons of each.
If you have any questions regarding white fillings, call your local San Leandro dentist Creative Dimensions in Dentistry at (510) 895-1776. Visit our website at www.cddentists.com.