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Which Type of Filling Lasts Longest, White or Silver?

A Beautiful SmileIn my last two articles, I addressed the length of time that White (Composite or Tooth-Colored) fillings last and the length of time that Silver (Amalgam) fillings last.

In this article, I simply wish to summarize the results and show a graph comparing the length of time that you can expect your fillings to last.

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings Last Longest

Amalgam fillings tend to last around 12 years, while a composite filling only lasts about 6 years.

Here is a graph that shows the percentage of remaining fillings after a certain amount of years.  It has been constructed using the data from Chadwick B, Dummer P, Dunstan F , et al. The Longevity of Dental Restorations.

A Graph Comparing the Length of Time That Amalgam and Composite Fillings Last

A Graph Comparing the Length of Time That Amalgam and Composite Fillings Last.

Does This Mean Amalgam Fillings Are Better?

No.  Amalgam fillings are less costly and generally last longer, but they aren't very aesthetic.  Most people don't want everyone to see a big chunk of silver on their teeth when they smile.  As a general rule, composite fillings are usually best for the front teeth that most people will see.  For teeth in the back, the stronger, long-lasting amalgam fillings are usually recommended.

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8 Comments |  Leave A Comment

  1. Almalgam are good I've had them on my back teeth for over 15 years now

  2. quick question.. i got my fillings done about two days ago and on the 1st day a little piece of filling i felt on my tounge and i didn't really think anything of it so i checked in the mirror and i can't really tell if it came off in a tight corner or what on my two molers but if i don't hurt or anything or that sort should i be concerned? plus i will be going back in april... what do you think?

  3. @lisandra
    I generally tend to wait to see if it causes me any problems, if you don't have any pain then you should be able to wait till April and get him/her to check it for you.

    • thanks so much for responding! I realize that if I drink cold and hot it hurts really bad for a while and sometimes it just hurts because of breathing I go for a cleaning comes april 9th I am going to tell my dentist whats going on maybe its my tooth paste but so far no toothpaste I found works for me at all just makes my teeth weaker :/

      • PreviDent 5000 sensitivity is what my dentist perscribed it actually works and doesn't eat at my teeth and thanks for all the comments this is great!!!

  4. Dear sir
    White Resin fillings release resins into the mouth, ? how harmfull are these resins and are uncured resins carcinogenic??

  5. my child cries and shakes and screams and stomps and throws a tantrum she is soooo scared acctially im the child

  6. pribesha tell the dentist that ur scared he or she will do something like a laughing gas

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Tom, Creator of Oral AnswersHi, I'm Tom. I recently graduated from dental school and am now a dentist in Bridgewater, Virginia. I started this blog to help people take better care of their teeth. You can learn more about me or ask me a question.

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