For most patients, metal fillings are a thing of the past. Today, the majority of dental patients are choosing to have their cavities filled with a tooth-colored composite resin, a durable material that can be color matched to any patient’s smile. The result is that no one can tell you have had dental work done. Your teeth can continue to look beautiful and healthy, despite the fact that a tooth was affected by a cavity. But appearance isn’t the only thing that tooth-colored fillings have going for them. They offer a number of benefits, such as being a more conservative treatment option than a porcelain crown, which caps the entire tooth, and conserving more of the tooth’s natural structure. In this blog post, Hartford cosmetic dentist Steven M. Balloch explains the many advantages of tooth-colored fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are extremely durable, and can be expected to last for 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. Patients should brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day as a part of their at-home oral hygiene regimen. Patient should also schedule routine dental exams. During these dental exams, the dentist can check the fillings for any signs of wear or damage.
Less Removal of Healthy Tooth Structure
When dentists place metal fillings, they must remove some of the patient’s healthy tooth structure to create enough room for the silver amalgam filling material. Tooth-colored fillings, on the other hand, only require the removal of infected tooth structure. All of the healthy tooth structure that the patient has can remain, maintaining the remaining strength and support of the tooth. Then, the tooth-colored composite resin will be applied to the exposed cavity in the tooth, filling it in and restoring full function and health to the tooth.
Does Not Expand and Contract with Temperature Changes
Temperature changes in the mouth occur daily as the patient consumes hot or cold foods. Unfortunately, the silver amalgam filling material responds to these changes in temperature by expanding and contracting. This chronic expansion and contraction of the metal fillings can put stress on the teeth, and make them more weak and vulnerable to injury. Tooth-colored fillings do not respond to temperature changes. They simply fill in the lost tooth material to preserve the strength of the tooth.
Tooth-colored fillings blend in with the surrounding tooth structure, producing a completely natural appearance. In fact, without the help of X-ray images, no one will be able to tell that you have ever had a cavity. Patients can confidently talk, laugh, and smile, knowing that the tooth-colored fillings are inconspicuous. Whether the filling is placed on a front tooth, or the biting surface of a molar, the tooth-colored resin can be matched to the color of your natural tooth structure.
To learn more about the benefits of tooth colored fillings, and to inquire to see if you can have your old metal fillings replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings, contact the practice of Steven M. Balloch, DDS, today.