Dental Services, Restorative Dentistry

White & Silver Fillings

What are the causes of Tooth Decay? Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars)–such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, and fruits–turns into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities, or caries. To remove decay and restore tooth structure, a filling needs to be done. There are 2 types of fillings we use; they are called composite and amalgam.

White Fillings

Composite fillings are also called “white” fillings. This is the most common type of filling placed today and will most likely be the filling you receive in our office. We will inform you if this is not the case and we need to use a different material. Your dentist will first clean all decay from the tooth in order to ensure that only healthy tooth structure is left. The filling material is then placed into the prepared area and hardened with a special light. When the last layer of the filling is hard, the dentist shapes the filling so it looks and feels natural.

Silver Fillings

Dental amalgam fillings are sometimes called “silver” fillings.  Because these fillings are silver in colour, they are sometimes used to fill cavities on the back teeth. The advantages of this type of filling are that they are the least expensive filling and they last a long time. The disadvantage of this filling is mainly that it can become an esthetic concern, as the “silver” color will tarnish and darken over time, which can affect your smile if these teeth are in a visible area. Studies have shown that amalgam fillings are safe and have been used on people for more than 150 years.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

In most cases no, it is not recommended that you replace your current metal fillings with newer white or tooth-colored fillings. After all, in most cases metal fillings are not dangerous or unhealthy to have in your mouth. Therefore, it is not important for your health to have them changed to white fillings.

Composite resins, or white fillings, are made of a plastic material that will expand and contract with temperature changes. This expansion and contraction is felt within the tooth and results in sensitivity. Most commonly, the sensitivity is within the first couple of weeks after getting a white filling replaced.