Advantages of the Tooth-colored Filling


dental fillings houston tx | Royal DentalIf you had lived at the turn of the 20th Century, your dental concerns would have revolved more around keeping your teeth than in keeping your natural smile aesthetic. Today, most people expect to keep their teeth for a lifetime. The idea of tooth loss, once a given, is now an unpleasant surprise. At the same time, the idea of having a cavity filled with antiquated dental amalgam is also somewhat unheard of. The choice most patients now make is to undergo restorative care with a tooth-colored filling.

Amalgam fillings, aka “silver fillings,” seem to have been invented in a long-ago, far-away land. This metal alloy mixture was the norm for many decades. However, it has gradually been replaced with composite fillings. These fillings are made of microscopic particles of plastic and glass that are mixed into a putty-like substance. Most people do tend to look at the aesthetic value of composite fillings. They aren’t called tooth-colored fillings for nothing! In addition to the color-matching that makes composite fillings look just like natural teeth, though, there are other benefits that make this restorative option so appealing.


Composite fillings are completed in a single visit. The putty material is chemically bonded to the tooth. This is quite different from the mechanical retention of an amalgam. To keep an amalgam in place, it is necessary to form the tooth in a specific way; with a “lip” of sorts that keeps the filling from falling out. As you can imagine, creating the right opening for the filling means that more tooth matter needs to be removed than would otherwise be necessary. The chemical bonding of the composite eliminates the need for excessive reduction of the tooth. This not only preserves the natural structure, which is preferable, but it also heightens the end-result regarding durability.


The conversation about which types of restorations last the longest continues. Some have said that amalgams are longer lasting than composites. However, due to the metallic nature of dental amalgam, these fillings are likely to crack at some point. Their margins, as well, shrink over time, which can let bacteria beneath the filling. Composites last many years due to the bonding process, as well as the minimal movement of the resin substance under hot and cold temperatures.

Dental fillings are some of the most common restorations. Knowing your options, you can better choose the method of repair that will provide you with the desired result.


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