Has a dentist detected a cavity or two in your mouth? If so, you have probably been told that you need to receive a filling to protect your tooth from further damage and restore its shape and size. Some patients dread receiving a filling because they think that fillings will look dark and unnatural. While in the past, the most common type of restoration was dark amalgam, patients have options for natural looking fillings that are unnoticeable to others. To help maintain the aesthetics of a smile, our dentists offer tooth-colored fillings. These restorations are durable yet are able to perfectly match the color and luster of biological tooth structure.
Tooth-Colored Fillings vs. Metal Fillings
In the past, amalgam was the most common type of material used for restoring teeth affected by decay. A filling is essentially a small restoration that treats and protects against mild tooth decay. While amalgam, a combination of metals, was very durable and effective, it was an obvious restoration. More than likely, you have seen amalgam fillings on the teeth of your friends and family. Composite resin is an alternative to amalgam that is both effective and natural looking. This compound is made from glass and plastic and can be tinted to the exact shade of natural tooth structure. Since this compound is white and its shade is adjustable, these restorations are incredibly discreet.
On top of looking very natural, composite resin offers unique advantages when it comes to restoring a tooth damaged by a filling. First, the chemical structure of a tooth bonds very well to the materials that make up composite resin. This means that less of the tooth must be removed to place the restoration. Using composite resin is normally more conservative than using amalgam. Another benefit to the materials used in white fillings is the fact composite resin is biocompatible, which is advantageous to patients concerned about trace amounts of mercury used in amalgam.
To learn more about your tooth restoration options or to schedule a checkup with one of our dentists, call one of our convenient office locations near you today.