Silver Fillings

Silver Fillings

Proudly serving Reston, Potomac Falls, Herndon, and Oak Hill

Silver fillings have been used for more than 125 years. A silver (or amalgam) filling is a mixture of approximately 50% silver/tin alloy and 50% mercury. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this gray colored material is packed into the tooth and shaped.

Unfortunately silver fillings do not bond (stick) to the tooth structure. This requires the preparation to be “undercut,” creating a chamber that is smaller at the surface of the tooth and wider inside. This undercut keeps the filling from falling out of the tooth.

Silver Fillings

Silver fillings are less attractive than tooth-colored composite resin fillings; for this reason, they’re typically not placed in teeth located near the front of your mouth.

The amalgam fillings expand and contract with heat and cold. This can eventually cause the filling to fracture your tooth, so a crown may be required to restore its functionality.

Silver fillings will eventually corrode and leak. This can allow bacteria to get in under the amalgam and cause new decay to develop.

They can fracture as they age, which also breaks the protective seal and leads to decay.

The amalgam can cause unsightly dark gray stains on teeth and gums.

New tooth-colored materials, such as composite resins and porcelain, allow us to avoid all of these problems and produce durable, natural-looking results.

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