The Pros and Cons of Metal Fillings

March 11 2022 by Mills Haven Dental

The Pros and Cons of Metal Fillings - Mills Haven Dental

Dental amalgam fillings, also known as “silver” or “metal” fillings, are less commonly used in modern-day dental offices, but they’re still around! If you’re over the age of 40, you likely have a few metal fillings in your mouth.

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of metal fillings.


Long-Lasting and Durable Metal Fillings - Pregnant People

One of the major perks of silver fillings is that they can last a long time. Some people have the same metal filling for decades before they become damaged. This outlives the more common material used for fillings, composite resin, which generally lasts about 7-10 years.

Easy Application

Silver fillings are incredibly easy to attach to your tooth. Often, your dentist can have your filling attached in one session! Occasionally, your filling may require two visits, but that's pretty rare.

After your filling has been applied, your tooth should be as good as new! You'll be able to use your tooth normally almost immediately.

An Affordable Option

Silver fillings are a more affordable option for both the dental office and the patient for a few reasons:

  1. Dental amalgam fillings are made from a combination of affordable materials, like tin, copper, silver, and mercury.
  2. The easy application means a patient spends less time in the chair, which in turn means a dentist can bill less time.
  3. Long-lasting fillings mean you won't have to think about paying for replacements for many, many years.


Hot and Cold Sensitivity

Your silver fillings are made of metal, right? Well, some metals’ malleability (ability to be shaped) changes due to heat or cold. Your metal fillings may expand, shrink, or shift slightly when you consume something super hot or cold.

Dental amalgam fillings are designed to withstand these temperatures well, but after some time they may have finally shifted enough that they will need to be replaced. If your filling starts to be uncomfortable, make sure you tell your dentist right away. Neglecting to do so may result in damage to your tooth.


Some people's major concern with amalgam fillings is whether there is enough mercury in the metal to be a health concern.

Metal fillings have been banned in various countries, like Norway and Sweden. However, the Government of Canada tells us that there is "no clear link between mercury in dental amalgam and negative health effects." The government has recommended that we limit the use of amalgam fillings in pregnant persons, children, and people with kidney disease.


Okay, the appearance of metal fillings isn't exactly a con in our opinion, but many of our clients who have had dental amalgams complain about the "unnatural" look of silver.

This is one of the reasons many dentists, including MH Dental, have almost entirely switched over to composite resin. This material gives your teeth a natural look; the colour can be almost an exact match to your tooth's current colour.

Replacing Amalgam Fillings

Do you currently have a metal filling that you want to disappear? The good news is that many dental amalgam fillings can be replaced with composite resin. This is a personal choice and one you need to make with your dentist.

Contact the Mills Haven Dental team to talk about your filling options.