Should I Get Tooth-Colored or Silver Fillings?

November 26, 2022 3:25 pm
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Early-stage tooth decay, which is temporary weakening of a tooth, can often be remineralized with a balanced diet, improved oral hygiene, and exposure to sufficient fluoride. But permanent damage to a tooth in the form of a cavity is commonly treated with a filling, which seals up the hole created by the cavity and protects your tooth from infection.

There are different kinds of fillings out there, such as composite fillings that are a similar color as teeth and amalgam fillings that are silver-colored.

The Risk of Silver Fillings

Amalgam fillings contain liquid mercury and an alloy of silver, tin, or copper. This used to be a common restorative treatment due to the material’s durability. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has stated that available evidence does not indicate that the form of mercury in dental amalgam causes adverse health effects for the general population but that certain groups of people may be at a greater risk for health issues from the mercury exposure. Some of these groups include: pregnant and breastfeeding women, fetuses and nursing babies, children under 6 years old, those with an allergy to mercury, patients with impairied kidney function, and individuals with neurological disease.

Safe Composite Fillings

We strive to protect all of our patients from toxic materials so we only offer tooth-colored, composite fillings at our dental office in Shoreline, WA. Composite fillings are typically made from a blend of biocompatible materials, including resin and porcelain, that do not pose a health risk to patients.

For a composite filling, only the damaged enamel needs to be removed from a tooth before the filling material is applied. With a silver filling, a dentist would need to remove parts of a tooth’s healthy enamel in addition to the damaged enamel during its application.

How to Prevent Cavities

Composite fillings are a simple way to repair a tooth compromised by a cavity. But even better is having no cavities at all in the first place! To reduce your risk of cavities: brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time; floss every day; brush your tongue daily; eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar and acidic foods and beverages; avoid tobacco products; and visit our office twice a year for professional cleanings and examinations.

Gentle Dentist in Shoreline, WA

Megan Jones, DDS, offers comprehensive oral healthcare, including preventive, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry, and affordable payment options. We’d love to see you soon! Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Fillings images from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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