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Get to know the difference between silver fillings vs. white fillings

29 July 2022by Shiv

Tooth decay is an inadvertent event that occurs commonly in people of all age groups. Your lifestyle, eating habits, hygiene routine, everything has a significant impact on your oral health. If you are negligent towards your teeth and consume a lot of junk food, tooth decay is clearly impending. There are different types of filling materials available to restore your dental cavity. Get to know the difference between silver fillings vs white fillings


When are dental fillings required?

Tooth decay, as is evident from the name, signifies the rotting of your teeth by the microbes, such as bacteria that colonise on the food that remains stuck in the crevices of your teeth. This leads to the disruption of your tooth’s standard architecture and a cavity formation in it. This cavity can accentuate your problem as the food now gets access to a greater portion of your teeth, and cleaning it is also difficult. Apart from this, a cavity in the tooth also creates problems while eating, and there is a risk of injury to other structures in the mouth due to the jagged edges of the cavity.

For tooth decay treatment, this cavity needs to be restored at the earliest, and fillings are the most reliable and commonly used method for this. Your dentist will drill through your decayed tooth to even it out and remove the debris, and then filling will be applied. There are amalgam fillings, which have been used for filling cavities for a long time. New advances in dental fillings include the composite, or the white cavity fillings, which offer cosmetic benefits.

Know The Difference Between Silver Fillings vs White Fillings

Are there any other differences between white and silver filling? Well, here are a few points contrasting and comparing White fillings vs. silver amalgam fillings that will help you in seeking more information about them.



Dental amalgam fillings are very commonly used to fill the cavities in your teeth. Amalgam fillings are commonly referred to as the “silver fillings,” but that is a misnomer as these are not made of silver but comprise primarily (50%) of elemental mercury along with a mixture of powdered metals including silver, tin, and copper. Sometimes, gold may also be used. The name is actually derived from the colour of the mixture, which is silver. The elemental mercury has an inherent affinity towards the other metals in the mixture and slowly fuses with them to form a potent amalgam.


Advantages of amalgam fillings:

  • Very strong and long-lasting: They don’t break or come off easily and once applied, can last smoothly for around 10- 15 years. They easily take the contour of your cavity and get hardened and fused with it. 
  • Useful in severe tooth decay: Can be used in patients with extensive decay or multiple teeth decayed, Also, for people who are at a high risk of developing decay, amalgam fillings are affordable and more convenient
  • Can be used in moist areas: Moisture is not a hindrance in the setting of amalgam fillings unlike composite fillings. They can easily be used in areas where moisture is inevitable.
  • Economical: The cost of amalgam fillings is less as compared to the composite fillings. This makes them more cost-effective.
  • Useful for back teeth: The teeth at the back of your dentition, i.e., molars and premolars have to withstand the greater force of biting and chewing. Therefore, the filling material for back teeth should be very strong.

Potential risks and disadvantages:

  • Metallic glint: The bright silvery metallic glint is evident whenever you open your mouth to laugh out loud. This is cosmetically unpleasant, especially for adults. 
  • Mercury vapours: The major proportion of amalgam tooth fillings is elemental mercury. Mercury is known to be released in the form of vapours and gets inhaled by the lungs and reaches other body organs. Thus, it may pose toxic effects on vital organs of the body.
  • Not entirely safe in pregnant women: Some people believe that mercury may lead to neurotoxic effects in fetuses and neonates, but there is no clear data to provide evidence of it.
  • Mercury sensitivity: Some people may be allergic to mercury without knowing it and may develop a hypersensitivity reaction to it. It may lead to the formation of new lesions in the oral cavity.



White fillings are the composite resin fillings that can be made “white” or “tooth-coloured” to blend with your tooth and become unnoticeable. Composite resin is a type of plastic that is fused with pulverised glass fillers. It gets bonded with your tooth, The cavity is drilled, and the surface is etched. Etching is the process of roughening the tooth surface and coating it with a gel to aid the bonding process. After that, bonding is completed with the help of laser or UV light, which helps in contouring the filling as per your teeth. The final touch is given by polishing and trimming it, to give the look of a natural tooth. For getting white fillings in High Wycombe, visit Conway House.

Advantages of white fillings:

  • Cosmetic benefit: White composite fillings can be made to look exactly like the colour of your natural teeth and therefore, indistinguishable. This is especially useful for adults and fillings for front teeth. Wh
  • Less damage: White fillings do not require extensive drilling of the cavity. This can save a greater part of your healthy tooth, unlike amalgam fillings where the entire cavity has to be scooped out.
  • Strengthen your tooth: Composite fillings are bonded to your tooth with the help of laser or UV light and can prevent it from further damages caused by excessive loading.
  • Strong and long-lasting: The white fillings are highly durable and last as long as 4-5 years.

Potential risks and disadvantages:

  • Difficult bonding: If there is moisture in the vicinity, the bonding process can not be done efficiently. The loose binding will lead to the fillings coming off from the cavity.
  • Expensive: The cost of white teeth fillings is higher than amalgam fillings because of the advanced technology used.
  • Not suitable for back teeth: If the decay is extensive, or on the back teeth, white fillings will get worn off sooner than silver fillings because of slightly less durability.


A professional can give you further insights into the pros and cons offered by white fillings vs. fillings. So, to clarify further doubts, contact us at Conway House Dental Practice, and our cosmetic dentist in High Wycombe will guide and assist you in choosing the most suitable braces. Book an appointment today by calling us on 01494526578.

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

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