We can restore the look of your teeth by replacing old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings. If you are looking for a Bloomington cosmetic dentist to improve your smile, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry. Tooth-colored fillings are just one of the many treatments we offer to restore your teeth. Read on to learn about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings.
Metal Fillings vs. Tooth-Colored Fillings
Gold and silver have been traditionally used to fill cavities. Though these are commonly used materials, they are not always the best choice for treating cavities. Fortunately, advances in dentistry have led to many tooth-colored options for dental fillings. Tooth-colored fillings can be used to treat new cavities as well as replace old metal fillings. Here are some things to be aware of when deciding to replace metal fillings.
- Silver Amalgam Fillings: Silver amalgam is one of the least expensive materials used for fillings. Though silver amalgam fillings are durable and long lasting, they have many drawbacks. Over time, silver amalgam fillings tend to discolor the teeth to a grayish tint. Teeth with silver fillings are vulnerable to breaking due to the large amount of tooth material that must be removed to place a silver filling. Another cause of weakened teeth is the tendency for silver fillings to expand and contract in the presence of hot and cold foods and drinks. This expansion and contraction can cause the filling to fall out and may create fractures within the tooth.
- Gold Fillings: Gold fillings may be more aesthetically pleasing than silver, but they are still quite noticeable. Gold fillings are more expensive than silver and they last longer. Galvanic shock is a potential risk of having gold fillings next to silver fillings. Though rare and not fatal, galvanic shock is characterized by a sharp pain in the mouth and results when a gold filling, placed next to a silver filling, comes into contact with saliva.
Tooth-Colored Fillings: Many people prefer tooth-colored fillings because they are completely unnoticeable, making them more aesthetically pleasing than metal fillings. There are different types of tooth-colored fillings available. The type you choose is best decided between you and your dentist. Composite resin and ceramic fillings are popular options for tooth-colored fillings.
- Composite Resin: Composite resin starts off as a putty-like material, which is applied and formed to the tooth. The resin is hardened through a curing process for a durable finish. Composite resin fillings restore the strength of damaged teeth by requiring less of the tooth to be removed.
- Ceramic Fillings: Ceramic fillings are extremely durable. Like composite resin fillings, ceramic fillings require removal of less tooth material than metal fillings, helping to preserve the integrity of the tooth and reduce the risk of breaking. Ceramic fillings, with proper care, can last 15 years or more.
Alternatives to Tooth-colored Fillings
There are cosmetically appealing alternative options to tooth-colored fillings. For our patients in Bloomington, dental crowns may be used when there is extensive damage to the tooth. Schedule a consultation to see which treatments are right for you.