If you take a look at almost any statistics on cavities, one thing is clear: Most adults have had at least one, and many adults have had even more than that. In fact, tooth decay is probably one of the most common problems all dentists deal with on a regular basis.
In the past, a mixture—also called “amalgam”—of metals was used to fill cavities, but today we have other options, including composite fillings that match the color of the rest of your teeth. If you have a new cavity or you want to find out about replacing an old filling, call Dr. Roy Chun at Oasis Dental and find out more about tooth-colored fillings.
About Dental Fillings
Dental fillings have been used for decades to fill in a spot of tooth decay (dental caries) to keep it from getting any worse. A mixture of metals was used in the past, but now there is a better option than amalgams for filling dental caries.
One of the issues with metal dental fillings is that they are not subtle. They are a dark gray color, and they are visible when people open their mouths to talk, eat, or laugh. This can make some people self-conscious. Another problem is that metal fillings also have a tendency to expand and contract slightly when touched with cold or heat. Although these changes are minute, eventually they can damage the structure of the tooth.
One of the most popular alternatives to the metal filling is the composite, tooth-colored filling. Not only do they look better because they match the natural color of the tooth they fill, but they also have other benefits over amalgam fillings.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Here are some of the advantages tooth-colored fillings have over metal fillings:
- Peace of mind—Although amalgam fillings are considered safe, many people are just more comfortable using the metal-free composite resin for fillings. This way, there is no anxiety about any possible dangers with mercury.
- Esthetics—There is nothing attractive about a dark-colored, visible metal filling. Because composite fillings match the rest of your teeth, no one will even know they are there. They won’t discolor over time either, so you can enjoy your cavity-free appearance for years. And they should last up to a full decade.
- Strength and durability—Tooth-colored fillings allow more of the natural tooth structure to be kept intact, so the tooth structure stays stronger—for longer. In addition, because the resin composite actually bonds to the tooth, it adds back the strength that was lost to the decay. They also do not have the sensitivity to hot and cold that metal dental fillings do.
- Versatility—Because tooth-colored fillings match the appearance of the tooth structure, they can be used cosmetically. They are effective in changing the color, size, and shape of teeth, and are a less expensive alternative to porcelain veneers. Consequently, they are often used for repairing a chip in a tooth, closing a wide gap between teeth, or making teeth look straighter.
Find Out about the Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
If you would like more information about tooth-colored fillings or if you would like to speak to Dr. Roy Chun about replacing your existing amalgams with tooth-colored composites, be sure to contact the team at Oasis Dental today!