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Fillings are one of the most common dental restorations, used to treat small areas of decay in the teeth. When you need a filling, the decay is drilled out and cleaned so that there is no remaining bacteria, before the hole is filled using a filling.
Fillings can be made from several different materials. In the past, nearly all patients had fillings made from metal amalgam. This dark grey material contains a mix of metals and while robust, is very obvious in appearance. This means that it is clear when someone has an amalgam filling, and this has the potential to affect their confidence in their appearance. Fortunately, there is another option – tooth-colored fillings.
As their name suggests, tooth-colored fillings work in the same way, but are made from a tooth-colored material. This material is a composite of plastic, silica and glass particles and replicate many of the qualities found in a natural tooth structure – such as translucency and shine. Tooth-colored fillings are also known as composite or white fillings. However, they come in a variety of shades which make it possible to get them in a color that suits your natural teeth.
Unsurprisingly, the main benefits of tooth-colored fillings are cosmetic in nature. Here are some of the reasons why this solution is so popular among patients.
Discretion. One of the main reasons why patients are choosing tooth-colored fillings is because of the discretion that they afford. Blending in seamlessly with your natural teeth, they are virtually impossible to spot. This enables you to show your teeth without feeling self-conscious that people might notice you have had dental work.
No leakage. Another real benefit of tooth-colored fillings over metal amalgam varieties is that they don’t change the color of your natural teeth. Amalgam fillings have been shown to start to discolor surrounding teeth over time, and this could cause your smile to take on a grey tint. However, this doesn’t happen with tooth-colored restorations.
No damage to teeth. Metal fillings can expand and contract when they come into contact with extreme temperature variables, such as hot drinks, ice cream etc. Over time, the pressure caused by this expansion and contraction can cause irreversible damage to the teeth. Fortunately, tooth-colored fillings aren’t affected by changes in temperature and so will not harm the teeth in this way.
Less natural tooth removal. When you get conventional fillings, your dentist will first need to remove any decayed material from your tooth. This is done using a drill and creates a hole which will then be filled. However, dentists generally find that less material needs to be removed when the area is being filled with a tooth-colored filling.
Improved confidence in your smile. Nobody wants to share that they have had dental work if they don’t have to. Choosing tooth-colored fillings means that people never need know you’ve experienced dental decay and required restorative treatment. And this can lead to you feeling happier and more confident in your smile and overall appearance.
If you would like more information about tooth-colored fillings, or if you would like to talk to us about swapping your existing amalgam fillings for tooth-colored ones instead, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.