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Do the color of the fillings matter?

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White or silver

As if having cavities isn't painful enough, you have to live with splotches of silver in our teeth, which can make you a little self-conscious. It's good to know then that white fillings may actually be better for your teeth.

Your question:

Are white fillings better than silver fillings, or is the color simply a cosmetic consideration?

The expert answers:

White fillings are better than silver fillings because they do not expand and contract the way silver fillings do -- the expansion/contraction is due to the mercury in the fillings.

Also, the metal particles in the silver filling leach into the collagen and enamel structure of the tooth -- staining the tooth from the inside and creating a blue black hue that is visible when you smile.

Tooth colored fillings are bonded to healthy tooth structure and give the tooth added strength. When the cavity is filled, only the diseased part of the tooth needs to be removed – preserving more of the healthy part of the tooth. With metal fillings, more tooth structure must be taken away in order to have the filling stay in.

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