Are Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings Better?

If you experience a cavity, it’s important to have it repaired with a dental filling to restore the health and structure of your tooth. The two most common options for dental fillings are traditional amalgam fillings with a metal appearance and all-composite fillings with a tooth-colored appearance. Are tooth-colored dental fillings better? At our dental office, we only use all-composite fillings for our patients. A tooth-colored filling blends in seamlessly with your smile, so no one has to know you had a cavity at all. The cosmetic benefit makes it the preferable choice.

Why Do You Need Dental Fillings?

If you have a cavity, it’s important to detect it early and treat it quickly. Why? Untreated cavities can deepen, widen and enlarge to become a more advanced form of tooth decay. Tooth decay is serious: It can result in tooth loss or infection spreading to your jawbone if left untreated and allowed to worsen. Dental fillings fill the cavity hole to repair the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage.

Drawbacks of Amalgam Fillings

For many years, amalgam dental fillings were the only option to fill cavities. Amalgam is a mix of metals, including mercury, tin, cooper and silver. The use of metal, in particular mercury, has caused controversy. Though most experts agree that the small amount of mercury in amalgam fillings is harmless, some patients worry about potential side effects. Metal also expands and contracts with temperature changes, and some worry these small contractions can affect the filling. Another downside to metal fillings? They don’t blend in with your natural teeth, so they are not as aesthetically pleasing.

The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are the better choice because they blend in with your natural teeth, so no one will spot your filled cavity. These is no damage to your beautiful smile with natural-colored fillings. Composite fillings also don’t pose the same concerns as metal fillings, because composite doesn’t react to temperature and there’s no potentially harmful chemicals.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.