Amalgam or Tooth-Colored Filling?

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At the dental office of Trailridge Family Dental in Parma, Idaho, Dr. Stevenson and his team are happy to offer our patients silver amalgam fillings and tooth-colored composite fillings, today’s most common dental fillings, both with advantages.


Amalgam fillings–also known as silver or mercury fillings–are made of a mixture of silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. The small amount of mercury they contain is still less than what you would ingest if you ate fish. Stronger than composite fillings, they are ideal for the molars which support the pressures of chewing. Amalgam fillings wear down less quickly than composite fillings. Because the amalgam filling doesn’t bond to your tooth like a composite filling does, it will need to be made wider at the bottom, which means cutting part of the tooth’s healthy structure. Amalgam fillings cost less than composite fillings, and they last longer on larger surfaces.


Composite fillings (or white fillings) blend in with your teeth, making your smile look natural. They are perfect for small to mid-size cavities and today are strong enough to be used on the back teeth as well as the front. With a composite filling, your dentist doesn’t need to cut away healthy tooth structure because the composite resin bonds to the tooth. Composite fillings do shrink a tiny bit when they harden which might allow bacteria to enter, making them technique sensitive, and your dentist must make sure that no moisture is present when placing the filling. Composite fillings last can last anywhere from 7-10 years, which is about the same for silver fillings, unless it is a large filling which can crack or chip.

Dr. Stevenson and his team are pleased to offer our patients dental fillings for a beautiful, healthy smile, so if it is time for your next dental checkup or if you are experiencing problems with a filling, you can reach our dedicated team in Parma, Idaho, by calling 208.806.0765 today!