In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of cosmetic dentistry and how it can change your life. Cosmetic dental procedure have advanced so much in the past few decades that they are now very affordable and minimally invasive. One procedure that was considered cosmetic at one time is now standard practice in our office. I’m talking about tooth-colored fillings. Our office uses tooth-color fillings to restore teeth that have cavities.
Fillings are a fact of life. Almost of all us will have cavities at some point in our lives, whether it happens as a child or an adult. Until recently, the standard practice for restoring a cavity was through the use of metal fillings. Metal, of course, does not match the color of your natural teeth and can be easily detected when you laugh, smile or yawn.
At Ist In Smiles, we use tooth-colored fillings and modern techniques to restore teeth with cavities. Our tooth-colored fillings bond to your tooth to structure the structure of the tooth, and they are virtually impossible to detect.
How Tooth-Colored Fillings Can Save Your Smile
As I mentioned above, metal fillings have had a place in dentistry for years. In fact, dental professional have used metal fillings for more than 150 years. Metal fillings are still used today. The restorations are durable and less expensive, but they have many disadvantages to tooth-colored fillings.
Metal fillings hold an obvious aesthetic disadvantage to tooth-colored fillings, but the application process is different, too. Metal fillings are also known as amalgam fillings, as they use a composite of various metals, including mercury. That’s right, your metal fillings contain low levels of mercury, which is known to be toxic to people. While the FDA determined that the levels of mercury are not harmful to people, patients are still weary of having mercury in their body. But that’s not the only big disadvantage of metal fillings.
To place metal fillings, dentists remove a major portion of the patient’s enamel. The metal fillings also are not bonded to the tooth, which means over time decay and bacteria can make its way between the tooth and the filling. Many patients with large metal fillings, especially in their molars, are at a higher risk of having the tooth fracture or crack. Here also is a little known fact: Patients with large metal fillings often develop cracks in their teeth. When you have a crack in the tooth, you will likely need a crown to restore the tooth.
Tooth-colored fillings are generally made up of a composite resin material. The great thing about resin fillings is that it requires us to remove a much smaller portion of the enamel. That’s because the material actually bonds with the tooth and strengthens the walls of the tooth. Once we prepare and fill the cavity with the resin material, it is hardened with a light. We’ve found that patients who have resin fillings have often experience less discomfort because the treatment is not as invasive as placing metal fillings. Additionally, composite fillings can be used on any tooth in the mouth, from the molars to the front teeth.
When a front tooth is chipped, cracked or decayed, we often can place a dental composite bond that will blend in with your smile. The bond will strengthen the tooth and prevent any future chipped or breaks. We have a shade chart that allows us to match the bond with the natural color of your teeth. Patients often have success with dental bonds that last for years.
If you have untreated cavities or want to replace your old metal fillings with something more aesthetically pleasing, call our office today and speak with our professional staff. If you have numerous cavities or need multiple dental treatments, ask us about our sedation dentistry. Using sedation dentistry, we can take care of multiple dental issues in one visit.