Difference Between Silver and Tooth-Colored Fillings

Posted on: September 11, 2019

Dental fillings are nothing new. What is new is your options. For a long time, people had cavities filled with silver amalgam. Today, more individuals opt for fillings that match the color of their teeth. The question: is one better than the other? If so, why?

Even adults need dental fillings

Dental fillings are not just for kids and teens. In fact, there is a staggering number of adults who develop cavities as well. If left untreated, a tooth can become infected. Not only does that impact surrounding teeth, but it can also put a person’s health at risk. The reason is the infection can travel through the bloodstream. Therefore, it is imperative for anyone with a cavity to seek immediate attention.

Silver fillings

Silver dental fillings consist of amalgam materials. That means these consist of different metals. These include silver, copper, tin and even mercury. While extremely durable, there are two potential issues. First, the metal could be harmful, especially silver fillings that contain mercury. Second, they are not very pleasing to the eye.

For years, silver dental fillings were a patient’s only viable option. Since these can withstand a great amount of pressure and force, they proved beneficial. Also, amalgams harden quickly. For that reason, a dentist can place a filling just about anywhere. There is also the cost factor. Compared to tooth-colored fillings, those made from metal are less expensive.

Tooth-colored fillings

The greatest advantage of dental fillings that match a patient’s natural teeth is aesthetics. Especially for someone with a lot of cavities, no one can see the fillings. For the individual, that gives them more confidence when laughing and talking. As imagined, a filling that matches a natural tooth is ideal for a more visible area of the mouth.

How to choose

Dental professionals still offer both silver and tooth-colored dental fillings. However, most recommend the latter for their patients due to the benefits. Silver dental fillings are somewhat controversial. To some people, these are harmful while to others, there is no risk. For any concerns, an individual can choose tooth-colored fillings.

The primary focus is on saving the tooth. The last thing a person wants is to ignore a cavity. If that happens, there is a good chance of them needing a root canal and a crown. If someone experiences pain when eating, sensitivity to hot and cold and swelling, it is essential to see a dentist. With that, there is a good chance of the person only needing a dental filling.


As far as the time that dental fillings last, it depends on the type. For those made of amalgams, most fillings stay in place up to 15 years. In comparison, tooth-colored fillings typically last about 10 years. If someone has silver dental fillings still in good condition, they can have them replaced. That way, the tooth will look like all the others.

Talk to your dentist

The recommended course of action is to discuss dental fillings with your dentist. After all, along with silver and tooth-colored are other options. Together, you can come up with a plan. Either way, the process of filling a cavity is quick and relatively painless.

Request an appointment here: https://www.portoladentalgroup.com or call Portola Dental Group at (760) 201-4085 for an appointment in our Palm Desert office.

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