Composite Fillings versus Silver Fillings
Silver fillings, also known as amalgams, have been the dental standard for several decades. The word “silver” only refers to the color of these fillings, not the composition. In fact, silver fillings are mainly composed of mercury along with a mix of other metals.
Many dentists consider amalgam fillings to be somewhat stronger and more durable than composite fillings. This strength explains the popular use of silver fillings in large teeth such as molars, but composite fillings certainly are not weak. In fact, composite fillings can easily last for decades or even a lifetime. Recent studies have also indicated that larger silver fillings may actually weaken teeth over time as the mercury expands and contracts with changing temperatures.
Furthermore, silver fillings often darken in time and may cause the surrounding tooth to stain as well. This process may lead to an unattractive appearance, especially with highly visible teeth.