Silver fillings aren't the only choice when you have a cavity. Tooth-colored fillings offer an excellent alternative to amalgam fillings. Ringwood, NJ, dentists Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi care for your oral health with fillings and other treatment options that will help you maintain a healthy smile.
What are tooth-colored fillings?
The best filling material lasts for years and doesn't move or break when you chew hard foods. For years, dentists regarded silver amalgam as the best choice, but that's changed in recent years. New fillings made of tooth-colored composite resin have begun to replace amalgam fillings as the filling material of choice.
Composite resin is a flexible, putty-like material made of powdered glass and plastic. Unlike silver amalgam, composite resin can be tinted to match the most common tooth shades. As a result, no one can tell you've had dental work. Although composite resin is soft initially, it becomes as tough as your tooth enamel when it's hardened with a curing light.
What advantages do tooth-colored fillings provide?
Tooth-colored fillings offer several important benefits, such as:
- Lower Risk of Cracks: The metals in silver amalgam fillings expand and contract when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages. Daily contraction and expansion can stress your tooth enamel, eventually causing it to crack. A crack can increase your risk of both tooth decay and a fracture.
- Improved Strength: Composite resin bonds to the surface of your tooth, increasing its strength. Composite resin fillings also require less destruction of healthy tooth structure than silver amalgam fillings. Every time you have a filling at your Ringwood dentist's office, a certain amount of healthy structure around the decayed section must also be removed. This process protects your tooth from the effects of decay but also weakens it. Tooth-colored fillings help keep your teeth stronger because they only require removal of a small margin of healthy structure.
- No Darkening: Your tooth may look dark if you have a particularly large silver amalgam filling or may darken over the years if the silver amalgam begins to leak into your tooth enamel. A tooth-colored filling will never change the appearance of your tooth.
- A Mercury-Free Option: Silver amalgam fillings contain mercury, while composite resin fillings don't. Amalgam fillings aren't recommended for children under 6. Many adults also feel more comfortable avoiding the fillings.
Restore your smile with tooth-colored fillings. Call Ringwood, NJ, dentists Dr. Kahn and Dr. Pergolizzi at (973) 835-3900 to schedule an appointment.