Are White Fillings Safe? Exploring Dental Filling Materials

Are White Fillings Safe? Exploring Dental Filling Materials

Nov 03, 2023

When it comes to dental fillings, the traditional silver amalgam fillings have long been the guideline. However, advancements in dentistry have introduced an alternative: white fillings. In this article, we’ll delve into the safety of white fillings and explore various dental filling materials. Springhill Dental is your trusted partner if you’re in NW Calgary and seeking reliable dental care.

Understanding Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are restorative materials used to fix teeth that have been damaged by decay or cavities. They help restore the tooth’s structure, strength, and function. Traditionally, silver amalgam fillings were the go-to option for this purpose. However, with concerns about their safety and the desire for a more aesthetically pleasing option, white fillings have gained popularity.

Are White Fillings Safe?

White fillings, also called composite resin fillings, are considered safe and have been used in dentistry for decades. Here are some reasons why they are a safe choice:

  1. Biocompatibility: Composite resin, the material used for white fillings, is biocompatible with your teeth and oral tissues. It rarely causes allergic reactions or sensitivity.
  2. Mercury-Free: Unlike silver amalgam fillings, white fillings contain no mercury, which has raised concerns in the past about potential health risks associated with amalgam fillings.
  3. Minimal Tooth Removal: White fillings require less healthy tooth structure removal than amalgam fillings, preserving more of your natural tooth.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: White fillings blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, offering a discreet and aesthetically pleasing option.
  5. Strengthening Effect: White fillings bond directly to the tooth, providing added strength and reducing the risk of fractures.
  6. Reduced Sensitivity: Patients often experience less post-treatment sensitivity with white fillings compared to amalgam fillings.
  7. Longevity: When placed and cared for correctly, white fillings can be as durable and long-lasting as amalgam fillings.

Other Dental Filling Materials

While white fillings are a popular choice, there are other dental filling materials available. Each has its unique characteristics and applications:

1. Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver amalgam fillings have been employed for over a century and are known for their durability. They are a combination of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Despite mercury concerns, numerous dental associations have deemed these fillings safe.

2. Gold Fillings

Gold fillings, often referred to as inlays or onlays, are made of gold alloy. They are highly durable and well-tolerated by gum tissues. However, their high cost and noticeable appearance make them less popular today.

3. Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings, also called porcelain fillings, are known for their natural appearance and biocompatibility. They are often used for front teeth due to their aesthetic appeal. Ceramic fillings are stain-resistant and highly durable.

4. Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are a blend of glass and organic acids. They are commonly used for children and for small fillings in areas that don’t endure heavy chewing forces. While not as durable as some other options, they release fluoride, which can help prevent further decay.

5. Amalgam-Mercury Alternatives

For those who want an alternative to silver amalgam fillings but are concerned about mercury, some newer materials, such as high-copper amalgam, offer similar durability without mercury content.

Choosing the Right Filling

The choice of dental filling material depends on several factors, including:

  • The location and size of the filling: Some materials are better suited for specific parts of the mouth or for smaller or larger fillings.
  • Aesthetic preferences: If appearance is a significant concern, white fillings or ceramic fillings are often preferred for their natural look.
  • Allergies or sensitivities: Patients with known allergies or sensitivities may need to avoid specific materials.
  • Budget: Cost can be a significant factor, as some materials are more expensive than others.
  • Longevity: Consider the expected lifespan of the filling material.

Consult a Dentist

If you’re looking a dentist near you in NW Calgary and have questions about the safety of white fillings or need advice on the right filling material for your dental needs, We are here to help. Our experienced team of dentists will assess your unique situation and provide you with the best options for your oral health.


White fillings are a safe and aesthetically pleasing option for dental restorations. However, the choice of filling material depends on various factors, including your preferences, budget, and oral health needs. When it comes to your dental care, consult the professional dentist in NW Calgary for expert guidance and personalized solutions. Your smile deserves the best, and We are devoted to helping you attain and maintain optimal oral health. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all your dental concerns and treatments.

What we are doing to keep you safe.

Learn More
Call Now Book Appointment