Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure.
However, white fillings were once considered less long lasting that silver / mercury fillings but there are new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam and these are proving very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in the mouth, how heavily your teeth come together when you bite and how large the fillings are.
In certain situations, porcelain inlays and tooth coloured restorations (onlays) can create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong, thanks to new bonding technologies.
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Tooth Coloured Restorations.
There are many advantages to tooth coloured restorations as well as the fact that they are much more pleasing and natural to look at. Resin onlays, which are bonded to the teeth create a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.