Tooth Colored Fillings
When you need to have a cavity filled, you have two options: regular metal fillings or composite fillings, also called white fillings or tooth-colored fillings. While metal fillings are a fair choice and cost somewhat less, there are numerous advantages to having cavities filled with tooth-colored fillings. If you think the only difference between the two types is cosmetic, read on, because you are about to discover some surprising facts about fillings.
Metal fillings are made of a combination or an amalgamation of different metals, which is why they are known by dentists as amalgam fillings. Though they are usually silver in color, silver makes up only a only a small percentage of the material they contain. Amalgam fillings contain mercury. The amount is small and though these fillings have been used for decades to fill cavities, there are health concerns about the use of mercury. Though there is no evidence that the mercury in tooth fillings causes harm to the health of someone who has them, there is concern about the amount of mercury in the environment.
Tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury. This not only makes them completely safe for your health as well as the environment, but because they contain no metal, they do not cause a common problem that comes with metal fillings: metal-on-metal pain. If you’ve ever had metal fillings and experience a painful sensation when eating, that happens when the metal filling comes in contact with metal eating utensils. With tooth-colored fillings this problem is eliminated.
“Tooth-colored” fillings is a more accurate term than white fillings because they can be made to match the shade of your teeth as closely as possible, so that they are not noticeable. The composite material also holds better than metal, and requires less preparation of the tooth before placement. With a metal filling, the cavity almost always has to be expanded by removing a healthy portion of the tooth to make a specific sized opening for the filling to fit into. With composite tooth-colored fillings, whatever the size of the cavity is, it can be filled with the filling material without the need to remove any of the healthy portion of the tooth.
The final benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that they are far less likely to fall out than metal fillings. This is because they bond with the teeth and are cured with light to harden them and make them a part of the tooth. They are made with the same type of material that is used in cosmetic bonding and composite crowns and veneers. This is a natural-looking and strong dental material that does more good for your tooth than metal that simply fills a space.
If you need fillings, an exam, or if you would like to learn more about tooth-colored fillings, call for an appointment with Dr. Omar Sattout at Kettleman Dental Care now.