Dentists Prescribing the Use of Porcelain Fillings vs. Silver Fillings
Fillings are usually prescribed under serious circumstances of cavities which is quite common once you enter your 20s. Though you might be brushing twice a day and flossing daily, bacteria play their chance and cause decay that requires filling. This is not inevitable if you are regularly making appointments for cleaning at your dentist.
People who need to have cavities filled, generally have an option to choose between Porcelain fillings and Silver fillings. To make a call, you need to be well informed of what dental fillings are in general, what are the pros and cons that they have. The dentist does usually recommend which is the best for you as that depends on the progression of your cavity.
Stages of Cavity
Cavities are formed when the bacteria have successfully invaded the outer hard layer of your tooth – the enamel. This occurs when the bacteria feed on the left-over food particles and sugars that eventually turn to acid. This acid then mixes with saliva and creates plaque that over time turns to tartar.
The plaque and acid together damage your teeth by creating black hollow holes that lead to the inner pulp of the teeth which leads to a root canal. The pulp consists of blood vessels that on exposure can cause severe sensitivity in the tooth of the adult and the infants.
What are the factors to consider?
Fillings are known as restorations, that come in different materials including gold, silver, and white. What type of material to use depends on the factors, like the size of the tooth, location of the decay, cost of fillings, which are the neighboring teeth, and how prone are they to decay. Two of the most common options put forth would be white fillings – porcelain fillings and silver fillings – Amalgam fillings.
Dental fillings – Silver vs White
Silver fillings – Silver amalgam fillings are the traditionally used fillings for people getting cavities years ago. These are a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Mercury comes up roughly to about 50% of its composition that makes these fillings durable for up to 10-15 years, but it was the same reason of its composition that people these days do not approve of it as mercury as a metal to consume is highly toxic. However, there have been studies that say they are safe.
Silver fillings are usually used for the teeth with cavities located at the back of the jaw or cavities that are below the gumline. This is because the teeth at the back majorly perform the functions of chewing and grinding that need the fillings to withstand all the force. Besides these fillings are cost-efficient which is preferable when one needs multiple fillings to be done as well as when you want to replace any of your old fillings.
White fillings – Porcelain fillings are high on demand these days because the composition of these white fillings consists of plastic resin and a mixture of glass particles which make these fillings blend with the color of your natural teeth nonchalantly. These are preferred by individuals who need to get rid of their cavities in the teeth that are in the front row at the opening of the mouth as these are virtually undetectable.
White fillings may not be as durable as silver fillings, but they do hold on for 8 to 10 years. However, the substance that this filling has, chemically bonds to the structure of the teeth and enhances its strength in the cavity which makes it vital to use for larger cavities as it can be designed to mimic the tooth. They are ideal for cavities that are formed over the flat surface of the tooth i.e., on the horizontal part of the molar.
Even when you looked for yourself, you would not be able to make out where the porcelain filling is. These are stain-proof and are unaffected by brushing or flossing.
What to choose, silver vs white filling?
Most of the time, dentists would recommend going for porcelain white fillings when you have cavities in the frontal tooth that can taint your smile. As these are aesthetically driven and make your teeth look all perfect, white fillings are something you would want to go for yourself too.
Though, when the chances of your cavities being visible are low i.e., at the back of the tooth or the baseline of your gums, you would want to go with silver fillings as these are inexpensive and more durable. However, when your dentist suggests going for white fillings despite the teeth being at the back of your mouth and not visible, this is because the cavity is too big which could affect the teeth, or the shape of your tooth is going to fit best with white fillings.
What to do first?
Go for a check-up and talk with your dentist. The dentist can help you decide on what type of cavity filling is most suitable for you and give you some more insights on why it is best for you. Before taking the decision, you need to consider factors, like your budget, appearance, size of the cavity along with the location and your dental history.
Come-what-may, brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and make use of mouthwashes on a daily purpose.
If you have any questions regarding your cavities and fillings, book an appointment or call us today at (613)-270-1001