White versus Silver

Why a white filling may not always be preferable to a silver one.

White filling or silver filling?  There’s certainly a great deal of debate on the subject and from what we hear at Carisbrook Dental the general feeling is that white has to be better than silver every time.  But the reality is that it is not as clear-cut as that.  Yes, a white filling can have many advantages – both dental and cosmetic, but without doubt there are occasions when as professional dentists we would unhesitatingly recommend to our patient that they should have a silver filling.

White filling versus Silver

White filling versus Silver

So what are the facts?

First of all let’s look at the benefits of white fillings – which incidentally were invented right here in Manchester.  White undoubtedly looks better and these days we can create the shade, translucency and texture of the filling to match almost perfectly the natural look of your teeth. In other words your new white filling will be virtually invisible.  Which, from a cosmetic and appearance point of view is a definite plus.

This ability to exactly match your natural teeth means that in addition to filling cavities caused by tooth decay we can use a white filling to repair chipped or damaged teeth or to smooth out uneven edges and improve the overall appearance of your smile.

Also, because the material used for a white filling is adhesive it generally means that your dentist doesn’t have to expose a cavity as deep as that required for a silver filling.  So it is less invasive.

On the minus side, preparing and fixing a white filling usually lakes a little longer than a silver filling, it doesn’t always last quite as long (although progress and new materials mean that this is improving) and a white filling is generally a little more expensive than a silver one (although not by much).

Many patients have concerns about silver fillings and are worried about the long-term effects of having the metal composite in their mouth.  We can assure you though that silver fillings have been used for over 200-years and they are the tried, tested and trusted treatment.  In that time there has never been a scientific study that has found them to be harmful.

Where there is a large cavity to be filled and especially for cavities in teeth at the rear of the mouth where it is difficult for the dentist to keep it perfectly dry during treatment, or for cavities that extend below the gum line, then silver is still the best material to use.

So as you can see there is still a choice to be made and at Carisbrook we believe that choosing what goes into your body should be a two-way discussion.  That is why we always take a great deal of time to fully explain all the options together with all the pros … and the cons … and we will help you to arrive at the decision that is right for you, the health of your teeth and for your future wellbeing.

If you take a look at our white fillings page you will find lots of information plus a video, but if you would like to discuss whether a white filling or a silver filling is best for you then please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a Free Consultation.  You can call us on 0161 951 7295.  You can also contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.