Question: My dentist says I need to have a filling, but how can I decide between a tooth-colored filling and a silver filling?
Answer: Tooth-colored fillings have become very popular over the last fifteen years or so because of their cosmetic appeal. With composite resin, we have the ability to restore decayed and broken teeth with beautiful fillings that cannot be detected by the casual observer. There are drawbacks to these resins, however. They are generally more expensive and time consuming to place. They are also more technique sensitive. If there is any moisture contamination during placement, they will leak and require replacement after only a few years. Tooth-colored fillings are not as strong as silver fillings, so a filling on a molar tooth in the back of the mouth may best be restored with a more durable silver filling. Silver fillings are more resistant to leakage and may be a better choice in an area where it can be difficult to maintain the dryness required for resins. Whenever you need a filling, always ask your dentist what options are available to you so you can make a well-informed decision.