There are some things those of us over a certain age know all too well, like minivans without screens, phones attached to cords, and silver dental fillings.
We’re now reaping the rewards of advancing technology (for the most part). Road trips are quieter thanks to mobile entertainment systems, phones are everywhere (usually in our hands), and metal amalgam fillings are no longer the only option.
Today, dental practitioners can place composite resins, also known as tooth-colored fillings, in teeth that traditionally require silver amalgam fillings. And, unlike our mobile devices, this is one advancement that has more pros than cons. Let’s examine the top five benefits of tooth-colored fillings:
One of the most significant benefits of tooth-colored fillings is the fact that no one knows you have them! Unlike silver amalgam fillings which tend to stand out when you smile or laugh, tooth-colored fillings blend in with your natural teeth. As a result, your dentist can match tooth-colored fillings to the natural shade of your teeth nearly perfectly, making them virtually undetectable. Additionally, some patients opt to undergo teeth whitening before receiving tooth-colored fillings, allowing them to pick a brighter composite shade to match their newly brightened teeth.
For many patients, the importance of metal-free dentistry goes beyond aesthetics. Traditional metal restorations are made using mercury and other materials that can negatively affect your oral and general health. Although the filling is solid, some patients are concerned about the possibility of ingesting trace metals as the metal wears down with regular use. Additionally, amalgam fillings tend to expand and contract with temperature changes, causing them to weaken over time and increasing their chances of becoming chipped or broken. Conversely, tooth-colored fillings are negligibly reactive to temperature changes and remain highly stable.
Everyone wants to limit their time at the dental office, which is another benefit of choosing composite resins. The process of placing a tooth-colored filling usually takes less than an hour. After ensuring you’re comfortable, which generally involves applying local anesthesia to the affected tooth, your dentist removes decay from inside the tooth. They then place the composite resin and harden the filling with a special curing light. The last step is to adjust the shape of the filling and polish it to prevent interference with your bite. Bonus - you’ll be able to eat and drink immediately after your appointment.
Traditional metal fillings sit inside a cavity, which means dentists often have to remove some healthy tooth structure to create a secure place for the filling. Tooth-colored fillings are different. They go on top of the teeth and bond with the surrounding dentition, so your dentist can preserve as much of your healthy tooth structure as possible.
Tooth-colored fillings are both durable and long-lasting. With proper oral hygiene – daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental visits - they can last as long as fifteen years before needing dental attention.
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Treating tooth decay is essential to your quality of life and addressing it with a dental filling is a simple procedure. However, the restoration material you choose can make a significant difference. Contact our dental team today to discuss your options.