A decayed or broken tooth may need to be repaired with either a white or silver filling.
Under the Minimata agreement, amalgam is currently being phased out to reduce the impact of dental amalgam on the environment. Silver amalgam fillings are best avoided in patients who are either under 16 years of age, or pregnant.
On occasion, a silver filling may be recommended, eg, if the edge of the filling is under the gum, and it is not possible to obtain a ‘dry field’ to predictably bond a white filling.
White fillings are bonded to the tooth. The bond between the filling and the tooth may be more predictable in the long term if contamination of the bond by moisture is reduced at the time of filling placement. For this reason, a ‘rubber dam’ may be applied.