What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are materials which are used to treat cavities. They are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth, or teeth that have been worn down over time. Most people will need to get at least one dental filling in their lifetime.

What are the different types of materials used for fillings?

The most common materials used for fillings are amalgam which is made of mercury and other metals and is silver in colour and composite which is made of resins and is white in colour. In children most of the times dentists do glass ionomer cements which is again made of silica and is also white in colour.

What is the difference between white and silver fillings ?

There are generally two types of fillings done routinely in dental clinics – silver and white/composite fillings. The difference essentially lies in the appearance price and function of both types of fillings. Silver fillings contains mercury so it may be considered harmful although not very conclusive evidence is available to support this theory. Since these are metal fillings they are strong and can withstand pressure. That is why they are used for filling back teeth. Appearance wise they do not look that great because of their colour. Also they require more bigger preparation so tooth structure is lost. These fillings are cheaper compared to white fillings.

White fillings are made of resins and glass particles so there is no chance of any toxicity. These fillings give the most natural and nice appearance to your teeth. These also require small preparations so there is minimal loss of tooth structure. these fillings are not very strong so they are preferentially put in front teeth. These are also more expensive compared to silver fillings.