With the huge care for beauty in our days, metal fillings are not accepted by most people. The composite fillings are metal-free material, shaped and colored to retain the natural look and bite. In most cases, no one can tell where the tooth begins and where the filling is at.

Although White vs. Silver fillings continues to be an ongoing controversy, dentists nowadays mostly place white composite material to give you a more natural smile, while retaining the original strength of the tooth.
The main decision that a patient will need to make at their filling appointment (or during the treatment planning) is their choice in filling material. The two mainly used filling types are often referred to by patients and doctors as “white” and “silver” fillings because of their color.
Nowadays, the recommendation most doctors will make is for the placement of a composite filling. Composite fillings have a 40 year history and are comprised of a plastic resin that is cured with a blue light. Amalgam alloy fillings are comprised of a mixture of copper, silver, tin and elemental (safe) mercury. They have a 100 year history of use. Amalgam fillings are held in place by the shape of the cavity.

Advantages & Disadvantages
Dental amalgam is a self-hardening mixture of silver-tin-copper alloy powder and liquid mercury and is sometimes referred to as silver fillings because of its color.
It is often used as a filling material and replacement for broken teeth:
❤ Durable; long lasting
❤Wears well; holds up well to the forces of biting
❤Relatively inexpensive
❤Generally completed in one visit
❤Self-sealing; minimal-to-no shrinkage and resists leakage
❤Resistance to further decay is high, but can be difficult to find in early stages
❤Frequency of repair and replacement is low

• Refer to “What About the Safety of Filling Materials”
• Gray colored, not tooth colored
• May darken as it corrodes; may stain teeth over time
• Requires removal of some healthy tooth
• In larger amalgam fillings, the remaining tooth may weaken and fracture
• Because metal can conduct hot and cold temperatures, there may be a temporary sensitivity
to hot and cold.
• Contact with other metals may cause occasional, minute electrical flow

Composite fillings are a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin, sometimes referred to as white, plastic, or tooth-colored fillings.
It is used for fillings, inlays, veneers, partial and complete crowns, or to
replacement for broken teeth.

❤Strong and durable
❤Tooth colored
❤Single visit for fillings
❤Resists breaking
❤Maximum amount of tooth preserved
❤Small risk of leakage if bonded only to enamel
❤Does not corrode
❤Generally holds up well to the forces of biting depending on product used
❤Resistance to further decay is moderate and easy to find
❤Frequency of repair or replace¬ment is low to moderate

• Refer to “What About the Safety of Filling Materials”
• Moderate occurrence of tooth sensitivity; sensitive to dentist’s method of applica¬tion
• Costs more than dental amalgam
• Material shrinks when hardened and could lead to further decay and/or tempera¬ture sensitivity
• Requires more than one visit for inlays, veneers, and crowns
• May wear faster than dental enamel
• May leak over time when bonded beneath the layer of enamel

The table below shows in a nutshell some differences between both fillings:
composite_vs_amalgamDr Rosanie Nabbout

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