For most of your life, whenever you had a cavity, your dentist would repair your tooth with an amalgam filling made of various metals, like silver, copper, and tin. That was just how things were. Recently, when your dentist said you had a cavity, they wanted to place something called a tooth-colored filling. Is this newfangled treatment really as good as old-fashioned metal fillings? In this post, you’ll learn four reasons why it’s better to replace your old metal fillings with tooth-colored ones.
1. Seamless Appearance
Amalgam fillings stand out in your smile like a sore thumb, creating a dark gray spot on your tooth. In contrast, tooth-colored fillings are virtually unnoticeable. They’re made from a mix of ceramic and dental plastic. This material, called composite resin, can be customized to perfectly match the color of your tooth enamel. Once it has been placed, other people shouldn’t even be able to tell you got dental work done!
2. Less Temperature Sensitivity
Metal conducts heat, so when it touches a hot or cold object, the metal itself also becomes hot or cold. As a result, if you sip hot coffee or take a bit of cold ice cream, the metal in your filling could transmit the extreme temperature sensation to your tooth’s nerves. This can cause a sharp stinging sensation. Because tooth-colored fillings do not contain any metal, they shield the sensitive nerves inside your tooth from heat and coldness.
3. More Conservative Treatment
In addition to changing their temperature when exposed to hot and cold stimuli, amalgam fillings expand and contract based on their temperature. This constant process of shifting places unnecessary stress on your tooth. Over time, deep cracks may develop in your tooth and you might end up needing a dental crown instead of just a filling.
Also, keep in mind that amalgam does not form a secure bond with tooth enamel. To ensure it remains in place, more enamel must be removed to create adequate room for the filling material. Composite resin, on the other hand, directly attaches to enamel, allowing you to retain more of your natural tooth structure.
4. Plenty of Durability
One advantage of amalgam fillings is their exceptionally strong nature. In fact, they can potentially last for up to 20 years. But are they really worth all of their drawbacks? Although tooth-colored fillings are not quite as durable, they can often go at least 10 years before they must be replaced. Plus, if you visit your dentist regularly for checkups, they can identify any problems with your fillings before you feel any discomfort.
Change can certainly be difficult, but switching from amalgam fillings to tooth-colored fillings is the right thing to do. It can improve your dental health and help you maintain a confident smile for years to come.
About the Practice
At Dentistry Suwanee, our two dentists are both highly experienced. Husband-and-wife team Dr. Katherine Lee and Dr. Brian Lee have both earned a Mastership with the American Dental Implant Association and a Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. They also offer tooth-colored fillings to help their patients achieve more beautiful, healthier smiles. To learn more, visit their website or call (678) 381-2875.