Until just a few short years ago, there were only two options for filling a cavity in a back tooth. Those were either silver amalgam, or an expensive gold inlay. These were the only materials strong enough to withstand chewing forces. These days, with advances in filling and bonding technology, white composites can be placed that are extremely wear resistant and offer the added advantage of bonding to your natural tooth structure.
Very few people realize that what we call silver fillings are actually less than half silver. In reality, there’s more mercury in them than silver. The American Dental Association considers these fillings safe, but many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of having mercury in their mouths– and we don’t blame them.
Advantages of White Fillings
Dr. Sirin has been placing white composite fillings for many years. In addition to being mercury-free, white fillings offer many benefits that amalgam or silver fillings don’t.
First, white fillings bond directly to your tooth– making it stronger, unlike amalgam fillings– which weaken your tooth and can fracture over time.
Next, composite fillings have no metal so there’s much less sensitivity. Silver amalgam is metal, so it’s an excellent conductor of hot and cold. In contrast, the white composite is actually an insulator which helps to protect your teeth against this type of sensitivity.
Another advantage to white fillings is less drilling, since we only need to remove the decayed portion of your tooth. This also means you’ll need a much smaller filling. With silver amalgam, the drilling must exceed the decayed portion because all of the weak and undermined tooth structure has to be removed so it will stay in place and hold up under chewing pressures.
Finally, with white composite fillings, there’s absolutely no metallic taste, and they’re virtually the same color as your tooth enamel. They blend in with your natural teeth and it won’t look like you have any fillings.
Make an Appointment
If you think you might have a cavity and you’re interested in mercury-free white composite fillings, or simply have questions about the process– please give our office a call. If you prefer, you can request an appointment online.
Dr. Sirin is a cosmetic dentist with a penchant for learning and desire for perfection. He’s an active member of many prominent dental associations including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, and the Chicago Dental Society. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa Dr. Sirin moved to California when he was 10 years old. When he’s not practicing dentistry, Dr. Sirin enjoys bicycle riding around Elgin, cooking, and traveling.