Dental technology has come a long way in the last few decades. This is especially true in the field of cosmetic dentistry, which focuses on helping patients achieve their ideal, brilliant smile. One of the biggest advances in dentistry has been the advent of white fillings, also called tooth-colored fillings. This technology has essentially replaced the use of metal, metallic, and silver fillings entirely. Cavities are now almost always filled with a tooth-colored or white filling, made of a composite resin.
Due to these changes in how dentists fill cavities, many of our patients ask us: should I replace my metal fillings? More specifically, should I replace metal fillings with white, tooth-colored ones? In most cases no, it is not recommended that you replace your current metal fillings with newer white or tooth-colored fillings. After all, in most cases metal fillings are not dangerous or unhealthy to have in your mouth. Therefore, it is not important for your health to have them changed to white fillings.
However, there are some exceptions. If our dentist has noticed some cracks or decay around your metal fillings, they may recommend replacing it. Alternatively, if you want to replace your metal fillings with tooth colored ones to help you achieve your ideal smile, talk to one of our cosmetic dentists about your options. Contact us here online, or request an appointment at one of our offices to speak with one of our experienced dental experts.
So, what are the benefits of tooth colored fillings vs. metal fillings?
As with any new technology, there are a number of advantages of tooth colored fillings over metal fillings. New tooth colored fillings are made of a composite of silica and plastic resin. This composite resin material is much more similar in makeup to your natural tooth, meaning it acts more like a tooth in your mouth. This is beneficial compared to the metal fillings of the past for a few reasons:
- Newer composite resin is tooth colored. This means you can receive a filling that you need and still maintain the natural look and brilliance of your smile. No more harsh metallic color on parts of your teeth!
- In the past with metal fillings, sometimes part of the healthy tooth was removed to make room for the metallic filling. The dentist would drill what is called an “undercut”, and is designed to hold the metallic filling in place. With newer composite resin white fillings, an undercut is not necessary. Instead, the tooth colored filling bonds directly to the tooth with the help of a special light that activates the bonding agent. This means a less intrusive procedure that preserves your natural tooth.
- Newer composite resin white fillings are made of a material that is flexible, and more similar to your natural teeth. Metal fillings are rigid and inflexible. This means that sometimes, when force from chewing is applied to metal fillings over time, small cracks or decay can occur. This potential problem is avoided with composite resin tooth-colored fillings, which are flexible and react like natural teeth to the forces of chewing.
Have questions? Want to get tooth-colored fillings or need a cavity filled? Call Lane and Associates!
If you want to change your current metal fillings to tooth-colored or white fillings, contact our Lane and Associates team. Our dentists have years of experience working with tooth fillings and cavity repair, and can advise you on what is best for your teeth. If you have a cavity you need filled or are in need of any dental service, contact us here online and request an appointment with our team. We can’t wait to make you smile!