Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Just As Strong As Metal Fillings?

Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Just As Strong As Metal Fillings?
February 1, 2020

Many people are visiting dentists with cavities in their mouths that need to have fillings. Dentists in general dentistry are routinely performing fillings by offering patients different types of materials to close the holes created by the cavities. Among the most popular types of fillings offered is silver amalgam which is a mixture of metals and resin composite made from the ceramic and plastic compound.

Questions have been raised by many about the strength and durability of either of these dental fillings with some claiming that metal is stronger than composite resin or tooth-colored fillings. The type of filling you decide to have will depend upon your unique needs and aesthetic preferences. However, it can be confirmed that both varieties are strong and ensure that the cavities remain filled. In this article let us look at the type of filling you should be choosing if you have fallen victim to a cavity.

What Are Metal Fillings?

Metal fillings are also known as silver amalgam fillings have been developed from a mixture of mercury, copper, tin, and silver. These fillings are being used for over a century and are often an unaffordable alternative to tooth-colored fillings. The compound is made up of 50 percent mercury which holds the metals together for providing a strong and durable filling. When Mercury is combined with other metals it forms as a safe and stable compound.

Metal fillings are being used since 1895 and usually last for 10 to 15 years ensuring that you don’t have to go under the drill frequently. This information is evidence enough to prove that metal fillings are strong and will remain in your mouth for quite some time.

Unfortunately, metal fillings are noticeable unlike their counterparts and are difficult to miss when you open your mouth wide. Sensitivity has been expressed by some people to the metals in the amalgam. This is in no way an indicator that metal fillings should be overlooked when dealing with the problem of cavities. Their strength makes them perfect for filling cavities in the molars were most of the chewing takes place. But for their noticeable feature which has perhaps eroded their popularity, these fillings can be considered as the strongest available among the different varieties.

Composite Resin Tooth-Colored Fillings

Ceramic and plastic compounds are used to make tooth-colored resin composite fillings. Resin can mimic the appearance of the natural teeth and therefore they can blend in effortlessly. Apart from being known as tooth-colored fillings, they are also known as white fillings.

As they mimic the color of your teeth these fillings effortlessly blend into your mouth as the resin composite is bonded to the surface of your tooth. Your tooth will be preserved in the best way possible by minimizing drilling which is not required.

Compared to metal fillings that last for 10 to 15 years tooth-colored fillings only last for 5 to 7 years which is 50 percent of the time offered by metal fillings. The process of placing tooth-colored fillings is more involved requiring you to spend more time at the dentist’s office.

Which Type of Filling Should You Be Choosing?

The size and location of the cavity must be taken into account when you sit with your dentist to discuss the type of filling best suited for you. You must also consider your cosmetic concerns, dental history and the investment that you need to make in either type of filling should you decide to consider options. It is, however, clear that metal fillings are stronger than tooth-colored fillings based simply on the duration they can remain in your mouth.

Tooth-colored fillings are presently offered as an anesthetic alternative to people that don’t want to display the presence of cavities or dental decay in their mouths. They are popular and have been accepted by many people despite the higher costs involved, more time for the placements, and the fewer years before they need to be replaced. If you are prepared to indulge in the frequency of the replacements and also overlook the higher costs involved you can choose to have tooth-colored fillings even on the back molars despite them not being covered by dental insurance companies for the back teeth. However, if you want a durable option that is also affordable and acceptable to insurance companies you must be prepared to show off the metal fillings on your back teeth for their durability and lower costs.