If your dental practitioner notices caries (decay) in a tooth or a deficiency with one of your existing restorations (fillings), they will advise restoring the cavity with either an amalgam (silver) filling or a tooth coloured/white filling. Your dentist will provide you with an estimate of your dental treatment costs for both options, from which you can decide your ideal treatment
What is the difference between silver and white fillings?
Both materials are now comparable in longevity and strength. The difference in your mouth is cosmetic appearance (aesthetics). In situations where a cavity is small, an adhesive tooth coloured filling may be the ideal choice, but these can also be used in medium sized cavities on front or back teeth. Amalgam (silver) fillings are suited to medium to large sized cavities. If you would prefer a tooth coloured filling in a larger cavity your dental practitioner may advise you to consider an inlay/onlay.
Fillings are available in silver which is composed of mercury, silver, tin and other metals known as amalgam. Amalgam does not bond or stick to teeth and relies on there being enough tooth to hold the filling in.
White fillings (tooth coloured fillings) are a more modern dental material and these can bond to tooth material and match the colour, texture and shape of your teeth.