When you get a cavity in your tooth, you’ll need to get a filling done by your dentist in Florida before the decay reaches the inner pulp. Otherwise, the pain will likely begin in earnest and it’ll be more difficult to save your tooth. When getting a filling, you’ll likely have a choice of what type to get, including tooth colored composite resin. But should you opt for this option over the old tried-and-true silver fillings? Here’s what you need to know to make this decision.
What are Tooth Colored Fillings?
Before tooth colored fillings came on the scene, your best option was a silver amalgam filling, leaving you with a flash of chrome on your repaired tooth. Amalgam fillings expand over time, causing the tooth structure surrounding the filling to flex and eventually crack the remaining tooth structure.But recent advancements in dental technology made it possible to skip the metal in favor of a plastic and resin composite. This tooth colored filling provides a natural look that never detracts from your winning smile.
In order to get white fillings instead of metal, you’ll have to pay a bit more plus sit through a slightly longer procedure. Beyond that, the composite material may not last as long as metal, despite its ability to create a tough bond. The composite is a bit more prone to chipping and cracking than metal, too, due to the difference in overall material strengths.
You can expect to have to replace the fillings every five to seven years on average, although it could be more often if you grind your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard can protect your fillings – and your natural teeth – if that’s a problem.
Benefits of Getting Tooth Colored Fillings
When deciding if you want to get tooth colored fillings, it’s important to explore all the benefits, such as:
Perfectly Matches Tooth Color
When cavities occur along your visible tooth surfaces, silver metal fillings can leave you feeling less than confident about your smile. You might then find yourself hiding your beautiful grin in an attempt to avoid feeling self-conscious.
Thankfully, you can skip that feeling altogether by just having your cavity filled with a composite instead of metal. Your dentist will match the color of the composite to your tooth, creating a virtually undetectable repair.
Spares More of Your Natural Tooth
When putting in a metal filling, dentists have to drill beyond the decayed material to create an undercut. With that move, they could make sure that the metal would have enough surface area to stick to for a lasting repair.
Composite fillings do not need the undercut to stick to the surface. Instead, the composite material uses resin as a bonding agent that activates under a specially-designed light. Once that bonding agent cures under the light, the tooth colored filling is stuck fast.
Beyond that, the resin can help protect the remaining tooth by flexing slightly under stress. Since metal fillings do not have any flex, they can increase the chance of cracking the tooth if you grind your teeth or simply bite down too hard.
Doesn’t Contain Any Mercury
About 50% of the silver metal amalgam contains a mix of metals, including silver, copper, and tin, for strength. The rest is liquid mercury, which acts as the bonding agent for the metal particles.
Although the elemental mercury is deemed safe for dental use, some people can develop sensitivities or allergic reactions. Other people may simply not want to have mercury in their bodies, preferring to get tooth colored fillings instead.
The tooth colored fillings only contain plastic and resin, which takes mercury completely out of the equation. You can then rest assured that you won’t develop an allergy or sensitivity to metals or mercury that requires the full replacement of your fillings.
In addition to working as an effective filling material, composite resin works well as a repair material for chips and cracks in your teeth. You can then rest assured that all the repairs will match your tooth color, so you can feel confident about your smile.
When to Go with a Different Filling Type
Your dentist will assess your dental health and filling needs to help you find the best material for each cavity treatment. Despite the benefits, you might want to skip the tooth colored fillings in favor of metal ones if you have a limited budget or want to speed through the repair process.
Metal fillings might also be best if you need a particularly large cavity filled. The composite resin might not last as long as metal due to its risk of chipping or breaking under pressure. People who clench or grind their teeth may also have to weigh the pros and cons a bit more than others. If the composite fillings break, they can be replaced, but it is an additional expense to consider.
No matter which filling type you favor, don’t delay cavity treatment for a single day longer than necessary. You can promptly get care from Kawveh Nofallah DMD with a call to 863-648-5338. If you’re not sure which cavity filling material to choose, your dentist in Florida will happily help you find the best option for your needs.
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