What Are White Fillings?

White fillings are made of a composite resin material that can be matched to your natural tooth color. Unlike metal ones, which are immediately apparent any time you open your mouth, white fillings are virtually undetectable by anyone but your dentist. This makes them the most aesthetically appealing filling option.

White fillings have been in use for decades and have proven to be strong and durable, even in the back teeth. The only time you may have a problem with a white filling in a molar is if you grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth can cause them to wear down and cause bite issues or even TMJ disorder, so rather than recommending metal fillings we will likely recommend tooth-colored along with treatment for your grinding problem.

Benefits of White Fillings vs. Metal Fillings

White fillings have more benefits than merely cosmetic. A major problem with metal, aside from how glaringly obvious they are in the mouth, is that they require a significant amount of your natural tooth structure to be removed in order to accommodate them. Removing too much of the natural tooth structure can lead to structural integrity problems down the line, and your tooth may eventually need to be replaced with a crown.

In addition, metal may expand and contract with temperature fluctuations in the mouth, leading to possible tooth damage and loosening of the filling. Composite resin does not have this problem, and can stay in place better.

Other benefits can include:

  • Greater preservation of natural tooth
  • Reduced tooth sensitivity
  • No questionable toxins from mercury
  • Better seal for prevention of bacterial infection
  • Decreased risk of needing repeat treatments

Replacing Metal Fillings

Metal fillings are not made from silver, although they are silver in color. They are instead made up of an alloy which includes mercury. Although the amount of mercury in silver amalgam is considered safe by the FDA, waste from metal fillings can contaminate groundwater and have potential negative effects on the environment. In addition, many people feel uncomfortable with the thought of having mercury in their mouth, no matter how small the amount.

Plus, silver fillings have a tendency to tarnish, which darkens the color even further and can even lead to discoloration of the entire tooth.

If you are unhappy with your metal fillings for any reason, contact us to discuss replacing them. Removal of metal and replacement with natural looking composite resin is a safe and popular procedure for men and women who had silver fillings placed in the past.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you are interested in replacing your metal fillings with more attractive white ones, or if you simply need a cavity filled, please contact Dr. Clancy today at (781) 396-8558 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Woburn and Winchester.