An increasing number of patients are requesting composite, or tooth-colored, fillings because of how seamlessly they blend with natural teeth. However, the benefits of composite fillings extend beyond their appearance. At Sugar Fix Dental Loft, a cosmetic dentistry practice located in Chicago, Dr. Jessica Emery uses tooth-colored fillings for a variety of reasons.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Unlike traditional amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, composite fillings are made of tooth-colored plastic and glass. They blend more naturally with existing teeth than amalgam fillings, and are just as durable.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Composite fillings offer a number of benefits associated with both appearance and health.
- Color. Dentists are able to blend composite fillings to match your existing teeth – meaning your results look natural. This can be particularly beneficial if your filling will be located toward the front of your mouth, making it more visible. However, even in the back teeth, tooth-colored feelings allow you to laugh, speak, and open your mouth confidently. No one will be able to tell you’ve had a filling.
- Support. Tooth-colored fillings bond with the tooth, providing support and preventing further damage.
- Insulation. Temperature fluctuations can cause tooth sensitivity, particularly when you have fillings. Amalgam contracts and expands in reaction to heat and cold, which can cause damage to the filling. Composite fillings, however, provide insulation that protects against temperature shifts and prevents contraction and expansion.
- Bonding. Composite material can be used for more than just fillings; it can also be used to fix teeth that are chipped, broken, or worn.
- Tooth preparation. To make room for an amalgam filling, your dentist may need to drill out a significant amount of healthy tooth. However, because composite fillings are bonded directly to your tooth, dentists often need to remove less of your existing tooth structure when placing them. This can have long-term benefits, as more of your tooth’s natural support remains intact.
- Strength. Thanks to advances in restorative dentistry, which have lead to the use of more durable materials, tooth-colored fillings are just as strong as amalgam fillings. With proper care, they can withstand decades of chewing and biting.
- Sensitivity. Patients with composite fillings experience less tooth sensitivity after their procedures than those with amalgam fillings.
- Prevents tooth removal. In cases of severe damage, there may not be enough healthy tooth remaining to accommodate an amalgam filling. In these cases, a tooth-colored restoration may be able to prevent the loss of the tooth. A composite filling may be able to salvage teeth with severe damage that amalgam fillings can’t correct.
- No mercury. Amalgam fillings can expose patients and the environment to mercury, which has been proven to have health consequences. Tooth-colored fillings are mercury-free.
- Ease of repair. When an amalgam filling is damaged, the whole filling often needs to be replaced. Composite fillings, however, can often be touched up when minor damage occurs.
Learn More about Tooth-Colored Fillings
A filling doesn’t have to affect your smile! With composite fillings, you can receive the treatment you need, and nobody will be able to tell. If you are interested in learning more about the advantages of tooth-colored fillings, contact Sugar Fix Dental Loft today!