Amalgam fillings

These are made of silver or a combination of metals and are used for filling cavities found in teeth. Due to the mercury content within amalgam fillings, many are having them replaced with alternatives such as gold, composite or porcelain materials.

White fillings

White fillings comprise of either white composite filler or porcelain ceramic filler, and are an aesthetically-pleasing alternative to amalgam fillings. Not only are cavities filled and teeth restored for healthy dental function, but the tooth-coloured filler looks just like the natural tooth in appearance.

White fillings are intended to combine with existing tooth structure so that there is no differentiation between the restoration and the actual tooth.

Are they as strong as silver amalgam fillings?

Amalgam fillings have been considered to be stronger and more durable than white fillings in the past. However health concerns over the mercury content, which exists in the amalgam fillings, have been a debating point for many years. Furthermore, amalgam fillings are not as aesthetically-pleasing as white fillings.

Advancements in white filler materials and filling techniques mean that stronger and longer-lasting white fillings are now available. The durability of white fillings may depend on the individual's oral health and bite function.

Replace amalgam fillings with white fillings

While some prefer to have amalgam fillings replaced with white fillings due to mercury concerns, others choose white fillings for their aesthetically-pleasing quality. The dentist may identify that an amalgam filling is ready to be replaced, in which the option for a tooth coloured replacement then becomes available.

White fillings that are tooth-coloured comprise of a blend of materials that may include:

  • Dental composite
  • Resin
  • Ceramics
  • Glass particles

The fillings are bonded using special cement and dentists may vary in the type of white filler they use. If a cavity needs filling, the dentist can provide more information on the type of white fillings they use to restore teeth.

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