Fillings are a type of restoration, which are used to strengthen teeth that have been affected by decay and to fill cavities or small holes in the tooth. Fillings can help to prevent further damage to the tooth. Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, which may include tin, mercury, silver and copper. In the past, amalgam fillings used to be used to fill almost all cavities, but white fillings have become increasingly popular, as they are a more aesthetically pleasing option.
What are the benefits of amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings are very strong and durable, which usually last longer than white fillings. Amalgam fillings are often recommended for the molars, as these teeth are required to withstand a great deal of pressure as a result of grinding and chewing food.
What are the disadvantages of amalgam fillings?
The major drawback of amalgam fillings is that they are clearly visible when you open your mouth. White fillings are designed to blend in with the natural teeth, but amalgam fillings are made of metal, which is clearly visible against the natural teeth. Some people also have concerns about the safety of mercury amalgam fillings and their impact on the environment.
Which type of filling should I choose?
The type of filling you choose may depend on the size and location of the cavity. If you have a damaged molar tooth, an amalgam filling may be recommended because it will last longer and withstand more pressure. In contrast, if the cavity is located in one of the front teeth, which are clearly visible when you smile, you may prefer to have a white filling for aesthetic reasons. Your budget may also affect the filling you choose and white fillings are not usually available on the NHS. If you have any question about amalgam fillings or white fillings in London SE1, contact your dentist.