White Fillings vs. Silver Fillings – What’s the Difference?

When parents are faced with a child having a cavity, a common question our pediatric dentists receive is, "Which type of filling is the best and safest for my child?" There are a variety of reasons why our dentists at Children's Dental Health Associates choose to use white fillings versus silver fillings.

White Fillings

If done correctly, the white filling is less sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, making it a better filling for young patients. There is also less removal of the tooth structure and they can be easily matched to the color of your tooth. White fillings will not corrode and are mercury-free, which is a better alternative for your child’s health overall. In the past decade, white fillings have significantly improved and continue to last patients up to 20 years.

Silver Fillings

One of the downsides to silver fillings is that more of your child’s healthy tooth may need to be removed to make room for the filling. This tends to weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking, while white fillings bond to the natural tooth and restore most of its strength. Unlike white fillings, silver is not invisible and can become darker as time goes on, which visually may not look great if your child happens to have a mouth full of cavities.

Despite the great advances in dental fillings, the best kind of filling is no filling. Prevent cavities and tooth decay by teaching your child healthy brushing habits, encouraging a low sugar diet, and also routinely bringing them in for dental checkups.

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