Advantages of white fillings
Dr. Malone has been placing only white composite fillings for many years, rather than the old-fashioned silver-mercury amalgam fillings. Here are their advantages:
- White fillings bond to the tooth and strengthen it. Amalgam fillings weaken the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings have to be at least two millimeters deep to hold up under chewing. They also require that all weak enamel be removed and that there be slight undercuts to help hold the filling in. With composites, it is only required to remove the decayed tooth structure, so they are a much more conservative restoration. See the photos below to illustrate this.
- Composites are very gentle to the tooth. With new amalgam fillings, your tooth will likely be extra sensitive to cold for several weeks afterward.
- White fillings look much nicer.
- Some people have concerns over the safety of having mercury-containing restorations in their mouth.
Here are photographs of two molars that needed one-surface fillings. Here is the tooth preparation required for the placing of an amalgam restoration:
Here is the tooth preparation required for the placing of a white composite restoration:
You can see the difference in how much tooth structure is conserved by doing the white filling.