Dentists in Roblin treat cavities by removing the decayed portion of your tooth, then filling that affected area with new material. In Canada, the most common type of filling is referred to as a “silver filling” because it is silver in colour. Silver fillings are actually made up of a mixture of metals. For that reason, they’re often called amalgam fillings. “Silver fillings” are not the only filling material available in Canada, though. There are several, including cast gold fillings, composite fillings often called plastic or “white fillings,” glass fillings, and porcelain fillings.

What are the differences between silver and composite fillings?

Silver Fillings

Silver fillings are an amalgam of mercury, zinc, silver, tin, and copper. Because silver dental fillings in Roblin are very durable and the material hardens quickly, they’re well-suited for teeth that exert and are exposed to the highest pressure (molars, for example) and cavities in the moistest parts of your mouth (below your gums, for example). Silver fillings are also less expensive than white fillings.

Advantages of silver fillings

  • They are the least expensive option
  • They are the longest-lasting option
  • They can usually be put in place in a single visit to a dentist near you in one stage
  • They are generally covered by dental insurance benefits plans

Disadvantages of silver fillings

  • Women who are pregnant should not receive a silver filling until after her child is born, though alternatives may be available in urgent situations
  • Chewing with silver fillings does release miniscule amounts of mercury, though studies indicate the mercury released is at entirely safe levels
  • Silver does not look natural when used to fill a cavity in a visible area of your teeth
  • Because silver fillings expand and contract due to heat, they can cause tooth fractures

Composite fillings

White or composite dental fillings near you are made of metal and ceramic materials. White fillings are very popular for people being treated for cavities in visible parts of the teeth, since they’ll match the colour of healthy teeth and will solve tooth decay discreetly. White fillings do tend to be weaker and less durable than silver fillings.

Advantages of composite fillings

  • They are aesthetically more pleasing since they will match your natural teeth.
  • The bonding action of white fillings’ composite materials to the tooth does strengthen the tooth
  • Some patients report less tooth sensitivity and discomfort with white fillings than silver ones

Disadvantages of composite fillings

  • Receiving white fillings takes longer because they required advanced dental techniques and tools
  • They may not be covered by all dental insurance benefits plans
  • Because of their lower strength and the high pressures of bites at the rear of your mouth, white fillings may not be appropriate in your molars
  • They break more easily than silver fillings and may require replacement more quickly and more often
  • They are more expensive than silver fillings
  • Cavities are more likely to develop underneath a white filling — a phenomenon called recurrent decay — than a silver filling

Are composite fillings safe?

Some composite resins used to create white fillings contain tiny amounts of BPA — a chemical substance called Bisphenol A used in plastics and resins since the 1960s . Over time, composite materials that do contain BPA may release tiny amounts of the substance into your body, where it can accumulate. If you are concerned about the potential health effects of the materials used to create your tooth-coloured fillings, ask your dentist in Roblin if they use BPA-free materials. If you have a composite filling that may have been created using a substance containing BPA, most dentists don’t recommend that they be removed, but replaced when they reach the end of their lifespan with BPA-free materials.

As you and your dental clinic in Roblin develop a treatment plan for dealing with your cavities, ask what types of fillings they provide and recommend for your teeth and your priorities.