There’s More to That Tooth-Colored Filling Than You May Realize
- Posted on: Apr 30 2018
One of our primary interests in serving our patients is to help them avoid the need for dental repairs. It’s so reassuring to know that problems like cavities and gum disease can be prevented! This is an empowering idea that puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to steering clear of pain. Also reassuring is the knowledge that your dentist has advanced technology designed to detect problems like decay as early as possible. Furthermore, if decay is found, treatment doesn’t have to leave a mark.
How can dental treatment leave a mark that you might not want? We’ll explain with an example: silver fillings. If you’re an adult, we would guess that you have one or more of these restorations in your mouth. Silver fillings made their way to America in 1830. Since then, they have not changed. A silver filling, or a dental amalgam, is made of silver, tin, and copper. Each of these metals remains separate until the three are bound together with elemental mercury. Over time, the silver hue of amalgam darkens as a result of oxidation. This is a mark that many people would like to avoid. This is possible with a tooth-colored filling.
Exactly what is a tooth-colored filling?
It’s obvious that a tooth-colored filling is a restoration that matches the shade of a natural tooth. But what else is there to know? A lot, it turns out. Tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite material of quartz and resin. There is no metal in a composite resin filling, which can lead to more stability once the filling is in place. This is because metal swells when it becomes hot. An amalgam filling becomes hot when you chew. The swelling that occurs is followed by contraction. As you can imagine, this process may not be good for your tooth. After being in place for years, there is a possibility that the amalgam filling could fracture the tooth. Even if this were avoided, the expansion and contraction of metal could degrade the tightness of the borders of the filling.
Tooth-colored fillings are affixed to teeth through a bonding process. Their borders are tight, and their rate of swelling when heated is nearly identical to natural enamel. While the discreet nature of this type of filling is an attractive feature, it is the hidden benefits that provide the most value.
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Posted in: Dental Fillings