If you need to have a filling on a back tooth, then your dentist might recommend using a silver-coloured amalgam rather than a white-coloured composite. In some cases, amalgam fillings are a better option. What are their benefits?

1. Stronger Fillings

Dentists typically only use amalgam fillings on the back teeth. This is partly down to their silver colour and their additional strength.

If you're having a front tooth filled, then you won't want to use an amalgam here. Its silver colouring just won't look right. However, if you have some decay in a back tooth, then an amalgam filling might be a better choice. The colour of the filling is less important on hidden teeth which are less visible.

Plus, amalgam materials are much stronger than other filling materials. They can cope with the stresses and strains of becoming part of your back teeth. These teeth take on most of the chewing load when you eat so they can damage weaker filling materials. Amalgam fillings are more robust and will last longer.

2. Faster Fillings

Some fillings take some time to complete. For example, if you have a large cavity to fill or if an area of decay is hard to keep dry during the procedure, then you might have to spend longer in the chair.

Amalgam filling materials typically set faster. You can use these materials to fill large holes; they also work well even if a filling space is moist during the procedure.

So, your filling will be finished faster. This is especially useful if you're a bit nervous about having dental treatment and want your appointments to take as little time as possible.

3. Cheaper Fillings

White fillings cost more than silver ones. So, if you want a cheaper filling, and an amalgam treatment is a good fit for your tooth, then you will save money by taking this route.

You won't just see immediate cost savings by choosing an amalgam filling. Your long-term costs on the tooth you're treating now should also be lower.

If you take good care of the tooth and its filling, then the amalgam should last longer than a composite filling. It is less likely to crack, wear down or break. You shouldn't need to replace it as quickly, and it shouldn't cause any future problems on its tooth. So, you get better long-term value for money.

To find out more about amalgam fillings and their benefits, talk to your dentist.