Fig.1 Fig.2
Fig.3 Fig.4

Dental Education Lecture: Silver or White Filling?

There are two types of filling: silver and white.  Which is better?

There is more and more evidence that silver filling is not so healthy.  It contains mercury.  Besides, it does not bind to our tooth.  It just fits into cavity prepared by a dentist.  If it is not done properly, it rolls up and separates from tooth after several years of service in our mouth.  That is, there is a space (red arrowheads in Fig.1) between silver filling (S) and tooth.  A new cavity (decay) is more likely to develop in the gap (red and blue arrowheads).

After removing the old silver filling and new decay, we place a white filling (W in Fig.2).  White filling actually binds and adapts to tooth nicely (arrowhead).  There is virtually no gap between them.  Fig.2 is photographed with a mirror.  It forms an image just opposite to Fig.1 (mirror image). 

Nowadays, more and more white fillings (W in Fig.4) are being used to fix decay (arrowhead in Fig.3).  There is no gap between the white filling and tooth (arrowhead in Fig.4).  New decay is much less likely to happen after white filling.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 12/17/2010, last revision 12/17/2010