Why tooth-colored fillings are preferred over metal fillings
Changes in dentistry mean metal tooth fillings are quickly becoming a part of dental history. Tooth-colored fillings, also called white-tooth fillings, have numerous advantages to the metal fillings dentists used to use.
- Tooth-colored fillings made from durable plastics called composite resins are
considered healthier than metal in the mouth over long periods of time.
- Tooth-colored fillings are hot/cold resistant and bond directly to the tooth, restoring most of the tooth's original strength. Tooth-colored fillings are also mercury-free. Metal and amalgam fillings expand and contract with hot and cold temperatures. This can cause pressure, breaking down the structure of the tooth filling, leading to additional dental work down the road (i.e. Crowns).
- While the cost of a tooth-colored filling may be a bit more than a metal or amalgam filling, the benefits over time result in a healthcare decision you can feel good about.
- Tooth-colored fillings are able to restore your tooth’s natural appearance, making the tooth filling less noticeable.
Replacing Your Tooth-Colored FillingTooth fillings usually last many years but chewing, grinding and clenching will take their toll on both metal and tooth-colored fillings. Tooth fillings that are worn around the edges or that have pulled away from tooth enamel are invitations for decay-causing bacteria.
Regular dental examinations are important because tooth fillings that are broken or no longer intact generally can be detected in the early stages. During your dental checkup, your dentist can determine whether existing tooth fillings are intact, or if any have cracked or worn away. Worn tooth fillings should be replaced promptly before decay begins. In some cases, extensive tooth decay around an existing filling may leave little tooth structure once the decay is removed. Your dentist may need to restore the tooth with a dental crown instead of a filling.