Having a cavity filled probably isn’t your favorite procedure to undergo. But the end result of getting a filling now creates little disruption to your smile’s appearance. Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite or porcelain fillings, are a natural-looking way to treat areas of tooth decay.
You may remember when most fillings were made of gold or silver metal, also known as amalgam. These amalgam fillings were very noticeable, and many people found them unappealing. Now the use of tooth-colored fillings allows you to get your teeth filled while still maintaining a beautiful smile. Dr. Thomas Sokoly at Sokoly Dental offers this guide to explain why tooth-colored fillings are an excellent alternative to the options of the past.
Tooth-colored fillings bond well to your teeth
Tooth-colored fillings are made out of porcelain or composite, which is a mixture of plastic resin and powdered glass. Composite fillings bond better to your teeth than amalgam, providing a solid surface that can withstand a lot of pressure without cracking. In addition, while amalgam fillings require drilling a pocket in your tooth for the material, composites don’t require digging and can seal up a small crevice.
Because composite bonds so well to your teeth, less of the tooth’s surface needs to be drilled to accommodate the material. This means that composite fillings work especially well to patch small holes — also called cavities or carries — in your teeth. Even with larger cavities, we can still usually offer tooth-colored fillings for beautiful results.
Tooth-colored fillings are strong
Even though it might seem like silver amalgam might be stronger, the opposite is actually true. Composite fillings are stronger than amalgam because less of your natural tooth is removed. And the fact that it bonds well to your natural tooth makes it less likely to fall out or become weakened.
However, it’s worth noting that no filling is designed to last forever, even with perfect dental care. The typical composite or porcelain filling lasts for many years but may eventually need to be replaced. Amalgam fillings need to be replaced, as well, but they may last slightly longer than composite.
Tooth-colored fillings look natural
Most people are concerned with their appearance, especially in today’s society. Having white teeth and an attractive smile can have an impact on all aspects of your life. Most people don’t want their smiles to be affected by noticeable silver or gold fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are matched in shade to your other teeth, so your smile will look as natural and as attractive as possible.
Tooth-colored fillings stop further decay
You need a filling when part of your tooth develops a hole in it due to decay, which can lead to pain, bad breath, or sensitivity to hot and cold. The purpose of a filling is to prevent more decay from developing. If you were to only have the decayed part removed, the damage could spread further into your tooth.
A filling stops further decay from happening. Tooth-colored fillings do this job just as well as amalgam fillings, if not even better because it bonds to your natural tooth surface.
Tooth-colored composite or porcelain fillings have other advantages as well, including the following:
- They are less sensitive to hot and cold temperatures
- They are environmentally friendly and don’t contain mercury
- They are gentler to your gums’ soft tissue than amalgam
- They can be used either on your front or back teeth
- They are less prone to becoming brittle and cracking
Tooth-colored fillings are the modern solution to the age-old problem of tooth decay. Call Dr. Sokoly at Sokoly Dental today at 202-280-2428 or request an appointment online to see how this new technology can work for you.