Tooth decay is the most chronic dental issue in America for both children and adults. Although it is easily preventable with the right oral hygiene habits at home and regular care from your family dentist, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 18% of children and 31% of adults currently have untreated cavities. To stop the spread of decay and to save the tooth, a dental filling is used. While metal fillings were preferred in the past, many are now turning to those that are tooth-colored. They are made from different materials, allowing them to be a safer and more effective option.
Metal Fillings vs. Tooth-Colored Fillings
Amalgam fillings have held a commonplace in restorative dentistry to treat tooth decay because they are affordable and reliable; however, many dentists are now advising against their use. They are made from a combination of various metals, including mercury. This gives them a dark appearance and increases your risk of mercury exposure over time. Overall, there are several disadvantages associated with their use, including:
- Dark appearance.
- Causes the tooth to discolor.
- Requires the removal of some healthy tooth.
- Contain mercury.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association support the use of metal fillings as being safe. Despite their statements, many are now choosing a metal-free option. Tooth-colored fillings do not contain any metals, and they can be customized to match your enamel.
Benefit from Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite resin, are made from a combination of plastics and glass fibers. This makes them safer because they are more biocompatible and do not contain any mercury.
The plastics allow them to be customized to match your enamel color to blend in seamlessly with your teeth. You will not need to worry about them causing an eyesore when you smile or making your tooth discolor over time.
They have also shown to improve the structure of your tooth. Unlike traditional fillings, wedges do not need to be cut into the tooth to bond it. This preserves the tooth’s integrity, helping to add strength to its structure to reduce the risk of fractures in the future.
Composite fillings provide a convenient solution to treat tooth decay because they are quicker to apply than those made from metal. After your tooth is prepared and the material is applied, a special light is used to quickly harden it, so you will spend less time in the dental chair.
Choose a Safer Alternative
If you have a cavity that needs to be treated, enjoy a safer alternative to metal fillings. Ask your dentist if a tooth-colored filling is right for you today!
About Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury
For over 44 years, Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has embraced the latest innovations in dentistry to provide his patients with effective dental treatments. He offers tooth-colored fillings to improve the health and appearance of a damaged tooth. If you have a cavity, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.