Shrewsbury dental clinic looks at composite fillings
4th September 2019
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The Dental Spa offers a wide range of dentistry services in Shrewsbury. 

Fillings are still the most common treatments despite the increased awareness of good dental health. People have fillings to repair teeth for a variety of reasons and there are two main choices – amalgam fillings (silver fillings) and composite fillings (tooth coloured).

We prefer to use composite fillings. This blog is all about why.


Silver fillings are made from mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper. An EU directive came into force on July 1st2018 that placed restrictions on the use of silver fillings in children under 15 and pregnant or breastfeeding women, except when deemed strictly necessary. This directive was due to environmental concerns about mercury pollution rather health-based factors.

What are composite fillings?

Composites consist of resin and fillers such as quartz and other agents (such as fused silica, aluminosilicate, borosilicate or zirconia and silane coupling agent.)

Our Shrewsbury dentists place the composite in layers, using a special light to harden each layer. The filling is then shaped and polished.


The shade of composite fillings can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth, which most regard as being a more attractive look. Composites are particularly well-suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth, where silver would be noticeable, not blending in at all.


Versatility is another strong reason why composites are a good choice for many people. In addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.


Composite fillings chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further/better support.

Less damage

Sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling. And saving as much of the natural tooth as possible can only be a good thing!

Are there any disadvantages of composites?

Composite fillings generally cost more because of the materials they are made from and the time and experience required to place them. They may also be less durable than silver fillings when used for large cavities. (For smaller cavities, there is no difference.) It can take a bit longer to place a composite on a tooth and, if composites are used for inlays or onlays, more than one visit may be required.

In conclusion

Dental amalgam is cheaper (and available on the NHS) but does do not have the aesthetic appeal of composite fillings. Plus there are concerns about the ingredients. Composites allow more of the natural tooth structure to be saved and, when treated with care, they can be just as durable, especially with new composite materials regularly coming to the marketplace.


But no filling is always better than any filling! As ever, we’re happy to discuss prevention as well as treatment on 01743 343433.

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