Dental Fillings: Silver Vs. Composite-Resin

shutterstock_173251583You may be familiar with dental fillings to help restore teeth that have suffered from cavities – but they can also help with cracks, fractures, or any other surface damage. In some cases, patients who have uneven surfaces may benefit from a dental filling to help smooth out the surface for more efficient biting and chewing. Often, patients worry about the aesthetic appeal of fillings as they were commonly made from silver (amalgam) in previous decades – which looks much darker than your natural tooth. However, now many dentists use a composite resin material that can be shaded to match the color of your surrounding teeth giving you a seamless smile. Depending on the individual and situation, your dentist will help you to determine which material would work best.

Choosing A Material

Silver (Amalgam):

Amalgam fillings have been around for over a century and have proven to be strong and durable. If properly taken care of, they can last up to 15 years! One of their biggest advantages, though, is how cost-effective they are – more so than their counterpart; composite resin. However, they do contain trace amounts of mercury so, amalgam is not recommended for children, pregnant women, or anyone who has allergies to mercury.


These tooth-colored fillings are not only beneficial cosmetically, but functionally as well. The composite-resin material physically bonds to the tooth structure, unlike any other filling material, giving your tooth additional support. Although they don’t last quite as long as silver fillings, composite-resin fillings can last up to 10 years with excellent oral hygiene. With tooth-colored fillings, your dentist is often able to remove less of your natural tooth structure than with the amalgam material. Leaving behind additional natural tooth further adds to its strength, too!

Do you need a dental filling? You’re not alone – contact your Grand Prairie dentist today!