Learn about composite and silver dental fillings, including the benefits and side effects associated with each material, before you decide to have your smile restored with this cosmetic dentistry treatment.
Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, have replaced the need for silver amalgam material when filling in areas of teeth that have been affected by tooth decay and cavities. The majority of Americans are now choosing to have old silver fillings replaced and new cavities filled with composite solutions despite the fact that tooth colored fillings are more expensive than silver fillings.
Composite fillings offer a number of benefits over silver amalgam fillings, which contain mercury and are considered by many to be toxic.
There are no known health risks associated with use of composite fillings. However, some patients do experience mild discomfort in the days following the procedure. Patients can expect to feel some pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, especially in the first week or two after treatment.
In the past, use of metal fillings to treat cavities was common in the United States. Since composite, or tooth-colored fillings, were developed and made available to consumers in the 1990s, dentists and patients have come to prefer composite filler materials over silver amalgam fillers for a range of reasons. However, some patients find that silver fillings are sufficient and dentists do still use this material to treat teeth damaged by decay.
One of the main reasons patients prefer silver amalgam fillings to composite solutions is because of the cost. Silver fillings generally cost $110 to $200 per filling, while composite fillings generally cost $135 to $240 per filling. The cost varies based on the extent of damage to the tooth. In addition, dental health insurance policies generally cover a significant portion of the cost of these procedures. Other benefits of amalgam fillings include:
Although silver fillings are effective in treating cavities, they are associated with some health risks and side effects.
If you suspect you have a cavity or you would like to have all of your silver amalgam fillings replaced with tooth-colored fillings, contact a local cosmetic dentist. A dentist can examine your teeth and gums to diagnose any issues you may have, and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.