Are white fillings as good as metal fillings?

Which are better...metal or white fillings?

Which are better…metal or white fillings?

A : Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

All types of filling have advantages and disadvantages. The decision on which filling to choose will be based on advice from your dentist ( e.g. what is likely to be the strongest or long-lasting solution) and your own expectations ( such as how much time and money you want to spend).

Read more about the different types of white and metal fillings here.

 Q: Are white fillings available on the NHS?

A : Yes, for front teeth and for fillings on the sides of the back teeth. But usually not for the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

Most dental practices will offer a range of options outside of the NHS.

 Q : Do white fillings last as long as metal fillings in back teeth?

A: White composite fillings in the back molar teeth may wear down quicker than metal fillings and therefore need replacing more often ( although this depends on how strong your biting forces are). Porcelain inlays and crowns may last longer.

 Q : When are white fillings a good idea?

A : The main reason is if you feel a metal filling would look unsightly. Another reason may be if a tooth is very badly broken down or there is a very large hole to fill….in which case a white filling material may be able to actually “bind’ the tooth together to make it stronger. Your dentist will advise on this.

 Q : When might metal be a better option?

A : If you have strong biting forces, it may be better to choose a metal filling rather than a white composite filling for your back teeth. Metal fillings may also be cheaper and quicker to place.

 Q : Are silver mercury fillings unsafe…should I get them replaced with white fillings on health grounds?

A : Silver amalgam fillings are safe…and British Dental Association advice is that metal fillings should not be replaced with white fillings unless there is a clinical or aesthetic reason.

Read more about the safety of silver amalgam fillings.

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.