No one likes to hear that they have a cavity. However, while this news is initially unpleasant, cavities are common, and most patients develop at least one cavity throughout their lives. According to the Centers and Disease and Control (CDC), 90 percent of adults ages 20 and over have had at least one cavity. Furthermore, one in four adults over 20 currently have a cavity.
Thankfully, cavity fillings are simple procedures. And while there are several options for dental fillings, tooth-colored fillings are a safe and aesthetically-appealing option for treating tooth decay and provide many advantages over traditional metal fillings. Continue reading to learn more about their benefits.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DENTAL FILLINGS?
A dental filling is a method used to restore teeth to their normal function and shape. There are four different types of fillings:
- Gold fillings: may last up to 20 years and are the most expensive fillings
- Silver fillings: inexpensive filing, resistant to wear, and are typically used for back teeth
- Tooth-colored (non-toxic plastic) fillings: may last three to ten years, isn’t resistant to wear
- Porcelain fillings: resistant to staining and is similar in cost to gold fillings
Consult with your dentist, and they will help you decide which type of filling is best for you.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS?
While each type of dental filling has distinct advantages, tooth-colored fillings are a safe and popular option for treating tooth decay. Learn more about some of their benefits below:
#1. Tooth-colored fillings are aesthetically pleasing.
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings or composite resins, are made from tooth-colored materials to match existing teeth’ color. Unlike gold and silver fillings that stand out when you smile or laugh, they blend in with your smile to keep everything looking natural. These filings are particularly beneficial for patients who need dental fillings in their front teeth or other visible teeth.
#2. Tooth-colored fillings allow for quick treatment.
Unless there are particular circumstances, the treatment time for tooth-colored fillings is fast and typically takes only one dental visit to complete.
After receiving a numbing agent (anesthesia), your procedure begins with your dentist drilling into your tooth’s enamel (hard, outer layer) and removing the decay from inside the tooth. Then, they will clean and dry the area and begin to etch and bond the tooth. Next, your dentist will start layering the composite resin into the hole where the decay previously was. They will then harden the filling with a special curing light. Once enough layers are applied and bonded, they will shape the filling and make sure you feel comfortable with it. The entire process takes approximately one hour.
#3. Tooth-colored fillings provide additional support.
The composite resin used in tooth-colored fillings is micro-mechanically bonded to the tooth’s structure, which provides more support. Unlike traditional metal fillings, where a significant amount of the healthy tooth structure is destroyed, these fillings are bonded on top of a tooth to help preserve it and maximize its strength as much as possible.
#4. Tooth-colored fillings are versatile.
Besides effectively treating tooth decay, the tooth-colored filling material is a versatile option that dentists use to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth due to its fast bonding time and natural-looking appearance.
#5. Tooth-colored fillings are mercury-free.
Tooth-colored fillings do not contain any mercury or metal. Instead, they are developed from a mixture of non-toxic plastic (acrylic) resin reinforced with a powdered glass filler. While many studies have shown that the mercury in silver (amalgam) fillings is not dangerous, many patients are still uncomfortable with traditional metal fillings. Furthermore, they are a safe alternative for patients with mercury allergies.
#6. Tooth-colored fillings are more resistant to temperature changes.
Consuming hot and cold beverages causes our teeth to expand and contract. Silver fillings, in particular, experience a wider range of expansion and contraction when compared to other dental fillings, which can sometimes cause the teeth to weaken and crack. The good news is that tooth-colored fillings are less affected by temperature changes, making dental problems like cracks and fractures less likely to occur.
GETTING A DENTAL FILLING IN MORGANTOWN | THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
If you are prone to tooth decay and cavities, we invite you to make an appointment at The Landing Dental Spa. Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, our relaxing environment is sure to calm and soothe you as our caring staff adequately treats you. For a comfortable, relaxing, and spa-like dental appointment, call us today at 304-594-2200 or contact us online here. We look forward to making you smile!