- Composite (white) fillings
- Amalgam (silver) fillings
Composite and amalgam fillings are both used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. However, they differ in their composition, appearance, and other characteristics.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass or ceramic particles. They are tooth-colored and can be closely matched to the color of the surrounding teeth. This makes them a popular choice for filling cavities in visible parts of the mouth. Composite fillings bond to the tooth structure, which can help to strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage. They are also less sensitive to hot and cold temperatures compared to amalgam fillings.
Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They are silver in color and may be visible when placed in the front teeth. Amalgam fillings are very durable and can withstand the pressure of chewing and biting. They are also less expensive compared to composite fillings. However, some people have concerns about the potential health risks associated with mercury, which is a component of amalgam fillings.
Overall, the choice between a composite and amalgam filling depends on several factors, including the location of the cavity, the size of the cavity, the patient's preferences, and the dentist's recommendation. Your dentist can help you decide which type of filling is best for your individual needs.