When you go to the dentist, you have two choices for cavity fillings -- silver or white. Confused about this choice? Read on to discover some of the lesser-known facts about these two types of supplies for dental work.
- Silver is cheaper -- for whatever reason, silver amalgam tends to be cheaper as a resource than white composite. As a result, these two different types of fillings are billed differently. This might become apparent to a patient when an insurance company, for example, will not pay the balance between the two types of fillings. The price difference can also determine whether a patient gets the best fix, or the cheapest.
- Silver is considered safe -- resources from the American Dental Association show how scientists have studied silver amalgam and contend that the levels and types of mercury in the silver amalgam are not harmful, using the contrast of relative mercury amounts inherent in food and water.
- Silver is older – white composite actually hasn't been around for all that long – it came into the picture in the 1960s. Since then, white composite has come a long way, with dental experts figuring out how to build better, stronger and more resilient fillings with this material.
- Silver is stronger – structurally speaking, white composite is more delicate than silver. Certain types of white composite fillings or additions may tend to easily chip, flake or break. That's important when fillings are on the tops or more exposed areas of teeth.
- White bonds better – White composite tends to bond chemically with teeth to form a more stable connection, which is why, in some cases, white composite work takes fewer pins or settings than silver amalgam.
- White can stain – it's important for dental patients to understand that white composite, just like natural tooth enamel, can stain when exposed to things like wine or coffee. In fact, the composite can stain at a different rate than the natural tooth. This takes away from one of the biggest benefits of white composite, that these fillings can often blend into the teeth and create a more consistent presentation.
These are some of the things to consider when getting different types of work done in a dental office. Ask a qualified dentist to break down these points and the ways that they will affect an individual project, so that you can get the best choices for your tooth fillings. If you're looking for a local dentist, visit Jeffrey S. Thaller DMD.