Most people have had one or more cavities filled in their lifetime. These pockets of decay can destroy the structure of teeth and lead to infection and tooth loss if not removed. In the past, amalgam or metal fillings were often used to replace the lost tooth material removed during cavity treatment. Not only do these metal fillings contain mercury, they are unattractive and noticeable when you speak, laugh or smile. As part of our cosmetic dentistry options at The Dentist Centers, we offer composite fillings that are color-matched to the tooth when repairing teeth. Composite fillings are a safer and more attractive option.
Filling material is used for a few different types of tooth repairs. The most common use is filling in cavities where decay was removed, but cracked or damaged teeth may also require fillings. Composite fillings have been used for decades, but were once only used on front or exposed teeth. Metal fillings were considered better for molars, due to the pressure put on these back teeth. However, there have been improvements in dental composite resin to make it more durable and safer for all teeth. Plus, there is the added benefit of retaining a completely white smile with composite fillings.
What is a Composite Resin?
While amalgam fillings contain silver, mercury and other metals that are liquified and allowed to harden inside the cavity, composite resin contains no metal. It is made from plastic and glass that are formulated to create a soft putty material that is white and comes in various shades to match the tooth color. To use for tooth repairs, the tooth is treated with a special liquid that allows the resin to adhere to the surface. Then a special light or laser is used to “cure” the resin, creating a hard, durable surface. The process only takes less than an hour. Once it is smoothed and polished, the filling can match the surface of the tooth.
If you need a cavity filled or a tooth repaired, composite fillings offer an attractive and safe option. Contact The Dentist Centers to schedule your tooth repair, and ask about our white fillings.