White versus Silver Fillings
The popularity of tooth-colored filling materials is due to the public’s demand for aesthetically acceptable restorations that are metal-free, hence safer. They are not limited to frontal teeth use only as even the molars can be restored using them. Tooth-like materials, such as composite resins and porcelain, have been proven safe and predictable as validated by scientific data. They bond exceedingly well with tooth enamel and dentin, hence, strengthening tooth integrity further. This is a case of modern dentistry mimicking nature.
On the other hand, there is amalgam, a metal mix of mercury, silver, tin and copper used in dentistry in over 150 years. Mercury in amalgam fillings is not toxic. It changes its character when combined with other materials. It is the only element proved to bind the mixture together so that it becomes easily manipulated by the dentist to fill in a tooth cavity. Mercury in amalgam released in the mouth when you eat is so negligible, you’d probably get more mercury in your food and water. And so, is that the reason why some dentists still use amalgam?
Amalgam, sometimes called silver fillings, has withstood the test of time with a proven track record of safety, durability, and affordability. While a dentist finds it easy to work with amalgam, due to its quick binding with tooth structure, he has to create sufficient space on the tooth, large enough (to include healthy enamel and dentin) with undercuts provided so that amalgam will hold. That’s relatively easy for him with modern tools.
Using composites is quite different. It requires a dentist’s skills and experience, and more time, to place the white fillings diligently and carefully to avoid gaps and future leaks. It also saves tooth structure for there’s no need to enlarge space where the composite is to be placed. All in all, it makes a great filling material with the color of real teeth.
White Fillings with West Seattle Dentistry
Look no further than your West Seattle dentist for white or tooth-colored fillings. They are safer, looking natural as real healthy teeth, and as sturdy and durable as amalgam fillings in the hands of an expert.