August 12, 2017
Do you flash a silver spot when you smile and laugh? Most adults wear the evidence of a former cavity in the form of a silver, or amalgam, filling. These visible fillings not only take away from the overall aesthetic of your grin — they may also expose you to unhealthy levels of mercury. There is an alternative, though. Want to know more about the difference between silver and white fillings? Your dentist in Suffern has the details below.
The 411 on Cavities
Cavities are holes that form on your tooth enamel due to insufficient oral hygiene, or when brushing and flossing just doesn’t get the job done right. Acids and bacteria build up on your teeth and around your gums throughout the day. This sticky substance that we call “biofilm” gradually weakens the enamel until a hole forms. A filling made out of biocompatible substances stops decay and prevents the loss of the tooth.
If we catch a weak spot on the enamel early in a routine checkup and cleaning, we can sometimes strengthen it again through remineralization. Your dentist may recommend a dental sealant to cover up the spot or a fluoride treatment to make the enamel stronger. We always want to prevent decay rather than fix it after it has formed — but if you do get a cavity, you’re certainly not alone. Tooth decay affects over 90% of population.
Silver vs. White Fillings
Silver fillings were the trusted restorative solution to tooth decay for many years. Today, though, many dentists are giving them up altogether for the significant advantages offered by tooth colored fillings.
The differences between these two restorative methods include…
- A white filling is made out of composite resin composed of smooth glass and plastic materials, while silver amalgam is mercury, silver, tin, and copper
- White fillings require less removal of the healthy natural tooth enamel, offering a more conservative option
- Composite resin sets within minutes under a UV powered light, while silver ones may take up to 12 hours to fully harden
- Tooth colored fillings are highly customizable to flawlessly blend with the shade of your surrounding tooth enamel
Is Filling Replacement Necessary?
If you’re having a problem with a silver filling, you should definitely have it replaced. However, some patients whose fillings are healthy are still choosing to have them replaced to remove the risk of problems that could develop later on.
Dark silver can make it difficult to notice a leak and break beneath the filling, even on an x-ray. There’s also the risk of mercury exposure to consider. Our team removes and replaces silver fillings safely to help you enjoy better oral health and a more beautiful smile for life.
You and your restorative dentist in Suffern can fully discuss the pros and potential cons of filling replacement in detail when you visit our office.
Contact Us Today!
It’s a good idea to get the health of your silver fillings checked out regularly. Replacement may be beneficial for your smile — we invite you to contact your family dentist in Suffern to schedule an appointment today!
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