Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Metal Ones?
There are two main types of fillings for teeth: resin fillings which are white or tooth-colored and metal fillings. So, which kind is better? Neither is the right choice for every dental patient. Instead, it’s up to you and your dentist to decide which one will work best. Use this pro and con guide to see the advantages and disadvantages of both types to make the most informed decision.
The advantages of tooth-colored fillings
These days, more people choose white composite fillings due to their numerous benefits.
- There is no health risk associated with these fillings.
- They can be color matched to ensure they blend in well with the teeth that surround them.
- Studies have shown that patients have less discomfort after procedures with these fillings
- Less teeth sensitivity is reported with these fillings versus silver ones
If lowered health risks, less pain, and a better color match are your priorities, this might be the right choice for you.
The disadvantages of white or tooth-colored options
Of course, there are also a few downsides to white or tooth-colored fillings. These include:
- They are generally more expensive than silver options. In some cases, they’re considerably more expensive. Having dental insurance can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket costs.
- It takes more skill to use these fillings. As a result, it will take more time – which can translate into longer dentist appointments and higher prices. While you always want to choose an experienced dentist it’s even more important if you go this route.
- Tea, tobacco, and coffee are just a few examples of substances that can stain these filling materials, just as they can stain teeth, over time.
- They’re not as strong on back teeth.
- They don’t respond to teeth-whitening products.
The main downside to this option is that they can require a much higher investment than metal options.
The advantages of silver fillings
Most dentists still offer silver options, which are also called amalgam fillings. There are a few advantages that lead clients to choose this option:
- The treatment takes less time. This can translate both to less discomfort and to a lower overall cost.
- They’re stronger and can withstand the heavy biting pressure of the strong back teeth.
- Advanced techniques or tools are not needed for these fillings.
- After decades of use, patients feel confident that they don’t have any long-term safety risks.
For patients looking for a quick, affordable, safe option this might be the top choice.
The disadvantages of silver options
It’s not all good news for this choice. Disadvantages include:
- Hot or cold temperatures can result in the fillings expanding and contracting over time. This can damage the tooth around the filling and lead to long-term issues.
- Dentists have to remove more of the tooth structure to prepare the tooth for filling with silver material versus resin material.
- Some patients experience painful sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages for a period after the filling is placed in their tooth.
- Not all dentists still use these materials.This choice is much more noticeable and is a clear indication that dental work has been done.
- They don’t harden right away. It’s true that it only takes a few hours for them to be totally hard but some patients don’t like to wait that long and worry that the teeth will become damaged in the meantime.
- Silver fillings contain traces of mercury. While they have been proven safe, some patients worry about this potentially toxic metal.
For teeth hidden in the back of the mouth, patients may not care about how these fillings look but for front teeth the look can be an issue. With the proper dental care, a variety of filling types are available, allowing you to choose which filling is best for you.
Silver Amalgam vs Composite Resin Fillings: What’s Best for You?
Wondering which type of filling material is best for you? The first step is to consult with your dentist. Discover the pros and cons of the two main types and decide which works for best for you. Cost is a major deciding factor for many patients, so it’s important to review your insurance plan to see which filling types are covered. Composite resin fillings are often only covered on visible teeth, and back teeth/molars either need to be filled with silver amalgam or paid out of pocket.
If you are in need of dental insurance, check out what Momentum Plans has to offer:Back to News