More and more, people want white composite fillings for their teeth. Some want them because they blend in with their teeth. Others are concerned about the mercury in amalgam (often referred to as “silver”) fillings. But what do composite fillings contain? And how do they compare to amalgam fillings?
Composite resins are used to make tooth-colored fillings. They are made from glass or quartz mixed with plastic resin. In New Orleans, Dr. Duane Delaune is a cosmetic dentist who only uses tooth-colored composite fillings.
How White Fillings and Amalgam Fillings Compare
- They bond to the tooth and make the tooth stronger.
- They require less removal of the tooth structure.
- Your teeth are less sensitive to hot and cold foods than they are with amalgam fillings.
- They don’t contain mercury, which is important to people who are concerned about the mercury in amalgam fillings.
- They look natural, so people can’t tell that you have fillings in your teeth.
- More time and skill are required to place them, so they cost more than amalgam fillings.
- More of the tooth structure must be removed to accommodate the filling.
- They are less expensive and easier to place than composite fillings.
- The filling is stronger than composite, but it weakens the tooth.
- Their color makes them more noticeable and less natural looking.
The photograph of the amalgam fillings on left shows that in some places, there is a gap between the filling and the tooth. Composite fillings bond to the teeth, and leave no gap. This bond makes the tooth stronger.