Five Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Dentists generally use dental fillings to repair cavities. These are spots of decay from mouth bacteria. Dental fillings are often used to replace part of your tooth that has been damaged either by decay or trauma from accidents. Dental fillings are designed to preserve the tooth's integrity, protecting it from any future damage. Dental fillings were originally made from metal. Now, they can be made from a wide range of materials. These include metal amalgam (which could be made from silver, gold, or a blend of other metals like mercury), porcelain, and composite. Composites are designed to match the color of your existing teeth. Here are some of the reasons why these tooth-colored fillings are beneficial:

  • Aesthetically Pleasing. Getting traditional metal restorations further back in your mouth isn't always a cause of concern. But if you're looking to repair damage on your front teeth, which are visible each time you open your mouth, you should consider a cosmetic option. Tooth-colored dental fillings will blend in with your surrounding dentition. Whether you're talking, yawning, or laughing, no one else can tell you've had a cavity.

  • Mercury-Free. Silver amalgam dental fillings contain some mercury, a toxic element. The amount of this metal in silver amalgam is low enough to be considered dangerous to health. They're safe for most people, according to the Food and Drug Administration. But they also warned that it may not be the case for certain high-risk groups, particularly those with hypersensitivity to mercury. They also recommend that other groups have to avoid the material. These include pregnant women, nursing women, and women who intend to get pregnant. Children (especially those below the age of six), patients with kidney issues, and those who suffer from certain pre-existing neurological conditions also have to steer clear of amalgam fillings.

  • Minimal Discoloration. Over the years, metal amalgam can alter the color of your natural tooth that surrounds it. In fact, some patients report seeing grey or even darker color transferred to their existing tooth. Tooth-colored dental fillings are made from an epoxy material containing silica or ceramic for durability and strength. It's still prone to staining if you drink dark-colored beverages, but the discoloration will likely be insignificant.

  • Tooth Preservation. With tooth-colored fillings, your dentist won't have to remove as much of your natural tooth. The composite resin used in tooth-colored fillings will bond well to your existing tooth. This leaves more of your healthy tooth structure intact. Besides, unlike metal amalgam, tooth-colored fillings don't eventually expand, causing cracks on your tooth later on.

  • Long-Lasting. With proper dental care habits, your tooth-colored fillings can last for a decade and sometimes even longer. Just ensure that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day. Equally important is to visit your oral health care provider for regular dental exams and cleaning. You also have to avoid habits that will only harm your teeth. These include chewing on your fingernails, pens, other inedible objects, and biting on ice or hard candies. All of these will only chip, fracture, or dislodge your dental fillings.

Do you have bad breath that doesn't go away even after brushing your teeth? Maybe you have persistent tooth pain or experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. If so, you may have cavities that need a filling. Visit Eagle Gate Dental today in Salt Lake City, Utah, to schedule your consultation.