White is the New Silver

Amalgam was once one of the most common materials used to fill cavities by your dentist. Also known as “silver fillings”, amalgam fillings are silver in appearance, but not in composition. Here at Smile Sarasota, we use tooth-colored materials to fill cavities and restore teeth.

What is Amalgam?

Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of liquid elemental mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper. The chemical properties of elemental mercury allow it to react with and bond together with the silver, tin and copper particles to form amalgam.

teeth with gold, amalgam and composite fillings

teeth with gold, amalgam and composite fillings

Amalgam fillings have been proven to stand the test of time; however, your teeth sometimes have a hard time keeping up. Amalgam fillings are best known for their strength. They were a favorite when it came to molars as it provided the most strength in dental materials on the market. What most people don’t know, in many cases, in order to get a great amalgam placed filling, the dentist would have to prepare the tooth wide and deep. This allowed the amalgam filling to hold onto all walls of the prepared tooth with strength. Fast forward 20+ years, your amalgam filling is in great shape, however, the tooth structure around it is starting to crack and break down. Generally, one side of the wall of remaining tooth structure has broken off and will need extensive repair to get it back to working order.

At Smile Sarasota, we take both a cosmetic and functional approach to dentistry. We use resin composite filling materials which are made of ceramic and plastic compound. Because resin mimics the appearance of natural looking teeth, these fillings have the capability of blending right in with your other natural teeth. They are also known as “white fillings” or “tooth-colored fillings”. Dr. Still’s first and foremost priority is your health and safety, which is why the ADA encourages you to talk with your dentist about cavity treatment options and what is right for you. Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine.