If your pediatric dentist in Spring ends up finding a cavity in your kid’s tooth that needs a filling, you may be faced with a decision to restore the tooth with a silver metal filling or a tooth-colored composite one. What’s the difference between the two? Is one choice better than the other? Let’s take a look at the difference between silver fillings and white fillings for your child.
Understanding Each Type of Filling
Before we dive into the pros and cons of silver and tooth-colored fillings, it’s important to know more about what’s in each type. Silver fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, are made from a mixture of silver (hence the color), tin, copper, and mercury. Tooth-colored fillings, or composite fillings, are made from ceramic and plastic resins that can be color-matched to other teeth. Other than the materials, what makes these two choices different?
While your pediatric dentist in Spring may prefer using composite fillings, there are a few benefits to both types of restorations.
Amalgam – Silver-colored fillings are incredibly strong and are sometimes preferred for back teeth. These fillings also tend to be less expensive than their tooth-colored counterparts.
Composite – Other than the obvious positive of basically being camouflaged in the mouth, composite fillings are also pretty strong. Additionally, the procedure for a composite filling requires less drilling.
As with most things, each type of filling also has some negatives that are worth mentioning so you can choose the best solution for your child.
Amalgam – The most common negative with amalgam fillings is the color. They’re pretty obvious and can create a smile that appears dark. In addition, the mercury component has been in the limelight lately. Despite the fact that agencies including the FDA, CDA, and WHO have found no evidence of harm, there continues to be concern about its safety.
Composite – Tooth-colored fillings are typically more expensive than a silver filling because of both the materials used as well as the time it takes to complete the restoration. There’s also a higher chance of these fillings needing replacement earlier than amalgam.
The process of placing an amalgam filling and a composite filling is pretty similar, but there are some differences. No matter which option you choose, your pediatric dentist in Spring will usually apply a local anesthetic to numb the area being treated. Then all of the decay is removed and the tooth is prepped for the filling. That’s where there is a difference between amalgam and composite fillings. Amalgam filling usually requires more of the natural tooth to be removed while composite fillings are a more conservative option.
We understand if you or your child may be nervous about getting a cavity filled, but we hope you find a bit of ease knowing that your pediatric dentist in Spring has a few tricks to keep your child calm and relaxed, and may even make the appointment fun.