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The Difference between Silver Fillings and White Composite Fillings

What are silver and white composite fillings?

Silver fillings also referred to as dental amalgams are made from a combination of metals such as tin, silver, mercury, and copper. On the other hand, the white fillings also referred to as composite fillings are made from ceramic and plastic. The two kinds of fillings are used as a corrective measure for cavities. Silver fillings more suitable for molars because of their durability and the capacity to withstand immense force. The dental amalgams are suitably used in most area such as beneath the patient’s gum line due to its ability to harden more quickly. One of the most appealing factors about the white filling is its color. Patients with cavities in highly visible places normally opt for white fillings. However, it is important to note that silver fillings are more durable in comparison to white fillings. White fillings are also affected by recurrent decay than silver fillings.

What is the difference between silver and white composite fillings?

There are major differences between white and silver fillings. One of the main differences is that they are made from different materials. The white fillings are made from plastics or ceramics while silver fillings- as the name suggests- are made from a combination of various metals. The difference in materials used to make the fillings also influences the placement of the fillings. Silver fillings harden faster than white fillings making it the best option when filling cavities beneath the gum line. The composites are less durable than amalgam. Composites are more expensive than amalgams because they are more labor-intensive during placement than amalgam.

Price of both silver and white composite fillings

Among the main reasons why most people prefer silver fillings in comparison to white fillings is the cost involved. The average cost of silver amalgam fillings ranges from $110 to $200 for every filling. On the other hand, the white fillings range from $135 to $240. The cost is also dictated by the extent of tooth damage, as well as, the labor involved in the placement process. Other factors that make the silver fillings cheaper is because it is covered by the dental health insurance while white fillings are not covered. The composite filling technique requires more skills and technology in comparison to silver filling treatment. Most dental patients are more comfortable with silver fillings than composites because they have been in use for decades.

What is the composite filling lifespan?

Composite fillings are not as durable as amalgam fillings. The composite filling’s lifespan ranges from 5 to 10 years. Some of the factors affecting the longevity of white fillings include:

  • The location of placement, more pressure is exerted at the back of the mouth when chewing than the front.
  • Smaller filling lasts longer than bigger ones.
  • The type of foods and drinks consumed affects the filling’s lifespan.
  • The patient’s oral hygiene habits.
  • The dental technique involved during the composite filling stage.


What are the different types of dental fillings?

There are various types of dental fillings materials available per dental patients’ tastes and preferences. Some of the dental fillings include silver amalgam, gold, and porcelain. Other dental fillings are plastic or ceramics and glass particles also referred to as glass ionomer.

What are the benefits of white fillings?

White fillings have various benefits. Among the main benefits of white fillings is its ability to match the shade of the original teeth. It is also not affected by teeth’s sensitivity. The filling is not affected by the fluctuating temperatures of the dental patient’s mouth forming a perfect bond to the teeth. Additionally, when using white fillings, the dentist does not require to make a wide hole when placing the fillings.