In the past, patients who needed to have cavities filled would have to get restorations made of amalgam, which left a noticeable dark blemish on their smiles. Now, your dentist can use tooth-colored composite materials that blend in more closely with the enamel of your teeth. These tooth-colored fillings have a number of benefits for patients.
Of course, a natural aesthetic is one of the primary advantages of tooth-colored fillings. The older amalgam restorations were quite unattractive and noticeable when the patient smiled. That is not the case with composite fillings, which are barely discernible from the biological enamel that surrounds the restoration.
Additionally, the composite materials actually form a bond with the tooth, which means that a tooth-colored filling ultimately gives the tooth more support. Furthermore, because the composite materials bond with enamel, the dentist will need to remove less healthy tooth material in order to accommodate the restoration.
A tooth-colored filling also is less susceptible to damage resulting from stress related to temperature changes. In contrast, amalgam is more likely to expand and contract with major temperature shifts, and that can cause damage to the restoration and the tooth.
When composite fillings were first introduced, the materials were not strong enough to restore cavities on the chewing surfaces of the large molars. However, the technology behind composite fillings has improved dramatically, and your dentist can now use these materials to fill a variety of cavities. However, it’s important to remember than in some instances, amalgam may be a more suitable material.
Patients who want to upgrade from old amalgam fillings to tooth-colored restorations may choose to have the amalgam fillings removed and replaced. In order to minimize the patient’s exposure to the mercury contained in the amalgam, proper safeguards must be taken in removing the old fillings. Don’t hesitate to ask your provider about this aspect of your care.
Tooth-colored fillings have a number of benefits for patients. To learn more about this treatment, contact our office and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.