Dr. Robert Axelrad Dental Office

Making Brampton Smile Since 1997

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Do Dental Fillings Have to Be Silver?

Dental Fillings

Silver Colored Fillings are the Most Common Type

But they are not the only type of dental fillings available. Read on to learn more…

That cavity that has been causing you tooth pain is most likely going to be filled at your next dental appointment. But before you lie back in the dental chair you should know that not all dental fillings are created equal.  In fact, there are three major types of dental fillings: amalgam fillings (also known as silver fillings); gold fillings and composite fillings. Let me explain….

Dental Amalgam  Fillings

Dental Amalgam fillings are also commonly referred to as silver fillings and are the most common type used by dentists in Canada. These fillings are a combination of mercury, silver, copper and tin. Silver fillings are usually used to fill back molars.

Advantages of Silver Fillings

Capable of lasting a long time, amalgam fillings are not only cost-effective but a relatively easy procedure to complete. Bonus: Only one appointment in the dental chair is required to fill a cavity with silver fillings.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings

Small particles of mercury are released during chewing. The Canada Dental Association has determined the minuscule amounts of mercury are harmless but some patients remain reluctant.  Dental patients seeking a more natural look can find the dark-grey tone unappealing.

Gold Dental Fillings

Cast gold dental fillings are a mixture of gold with other metals such as silver and copper. During the first visit to your dental office, your dentist will clean the decay, and make a mould of the tooth. The hole is filled with a temporary filling that is replaced during the second visit. The cast gold filling, made at a dental lab is based precisely from the tooth and the mould is then cemented into place.

Advantages of Gold Fillings

Cast gold dental fillings are stronger than amalgam and last just as long.

Disadvantages of Gold Fillings

Cast gold fillings are the most expensive type of fillings. Two visits to the dental office are necessary for the work to be completed. The gold colour also is a deterrent for those looking for a natural tooth colour.

Composite Dental Fillings

Composite fillings (white or plastic) are a mixture of plastic and glass. First, your dentist cleans the decay and applies a bonding material (glue) on the inside of the cavity and layers the composite resin. Then, a special light placed over the tooth hardens each layer. Once the last layer is hard, your dentist will shape the filling, making it look smooth and natural. 

Advantages of Composite Dental Fillings

Composite fillings are the same colour as the tooth and can be filled in one appointment.

Disadvantages of Composite Dental Fillings

Plastic fillings may not be the optimal choice for back molars. Because composite fillings are not as strong, dentists do not advise this type of filling for hard-working teeth that are bitten down hard upon.  More expensive than amalgam fillings, composite fillings are less expensive than cast gold. Composite fillings are less durable over time, and have issues with recurrent decay.

At Dr. Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton we’ll take the time to answer all of your questions about fillings and all things dental. We feel that the best patient is an informed patient.

Think you may have a cavity or that it’s time to see a dentist? In Brampton, call (905) 791-3867 to make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad. We accept new patients, walk-ins and dental emergencies.