Metal vs Tooth-Colored Fillings

These days, filling a cavity doesn’t require the loss of a tooth or the removal of healthy enamel. Technological advances in dentistry and recent innovations in filling materials have made restoring the structural integrity of tooth easier and safer. Dr. David Redford, our Denver dental fillings expert, offers two choices of filling agents, including composite-tooth colored and metal amalgam materials, both of which can improve the appearance of your smile, repair dental damage, and augment your overall and oral health.

What Are Composite Fillings?

Resin fillings, also referred to as tooth-colored fillings, are composed of ceramic and plastic materials. Dr. Redford uses only the safest, most durable materials when improving the health and function of his patients’ smiles. Not only do composite fillings look completely natural, they blend in flawlessly with your existing teeth to create a seamless, healthy-looking smile. Using advanced digital technology, Denver dental fillings dentist David Redford can perform an in-depth analysis of your teeth to detect, identify, and correct structural imparities that exist within your mouth. Placing resin fillings requires a significant amount of patience and precision, which is why many dentists refrain from using the material.

What Are Metal Fillings?

Amalgams, commonly known as metal, fillings are crafted using a combination of mercury, copper, tin, and silver materials. Many dentists prefer to use metal fillings because they are easier to work with than composite fillings. Mercury, which makes up approximately half of the restoration, is used to fuse the material to the tooth. Usually, an amalgam filling can be precisely placed in a matter of minutes.

Differences between Filling Materials


Silver, amalgam fillings have been a reliable, durable, and safe material used by doctors for well over 150 years. While many dentists continue to utilize the material to fill cavities, others insist on restoring a tooth’s structure with a resin based compound. The reason for preferring to use a composite, natural-looking material stems from the belief that the bonding agent, for silver fillings, is mercury based. Although, the amount of mercury released in the mouth, when a patient chews or grinds his or her teeth, is miniscule, some dentists refuse to directly expose their patients to the substance.


Because metal often displays changes in size and shape when exposed to either hot or cold temperatures, silver fillings, when placed within the tooth’s structure, can cause minor to severe cracking. For our patients in Denver, dental crowns are often used by dentists to restore functionality and aesthetics to a fractured tooth. Tooth-colored fillings also have a tendency to shrink, during instillation, when exposed to LED light. Rarely will the filling cause the tooth to crack, however, some tension and pressure may form, initially, within the tooth. Typically, the longevity of a tooth-colored filling is the same as an amalgam filling. Once placed, the filling should have a life span of one to two decades.


Resin composite fillings blend in flawlessly with the rest of your existing teeth. The mixture of all-natural plastic and ceramic materials mimics the appearance of natural teeth. On the other hand, amalgam fillings are composed of darker, less natural-looking substances. A metal filling is easy to detect, especially if the material is placed directly on the surface of the tooth. Dr. Redford’s artistic eye, detail oriented nature, and years of experience make him an authority in the restorative dentistry field. To determine which type of filling will work best for your smile and your dental needs, Dr. David Redford will perform a thorough examination of your teeth. Not only will he take into account the location and size of the structural decay, he will evaluate your medical history, present you with all of your treatment options, and address any concerns or questions that you may have regarding your dental restoration.


Although composite fillings look more natural than silver and amalgam fillings, they are often more expensive. At our Denver cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. David Redford recommends his patients take advantage of the health related, functional, and aesthetic benefits of tooth-colored fillings. Although, they may cost more initially, the use of composite fillings will save you from having to have healthy tooth enamel removed from your smile.

Contact University Dental Arts Today!

To learn more about the services that University Dental Arts provides, contact Dr. Redford directly. If you or someone you know is in need of a dental filling, contact the office so a skilled dental professional can discuss with you how best to achieve the results you desire and the flourishing oral health you deserve to have.

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