Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Metal Ones?

Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Metal Ones?

No matter how well we try and take care of our teeth, most of us will experience decay at some point during our lifetime. Decay occurs when the bacteria in our mouths interacts with sugars found in our food and drink, creating acids that can slowly eat through the layers of our teeth, causing holes to develop. The most common treatment for dental decay is a cavity filling. This is where the decay is drilled out and the hole filled with a special filling material. In the past, the only material used for filling cavities was a silver amalgam. Dark grey in appearance, it is strong and effective and still used today. However, metal fillings are also very obvious, affecting the appearance of our smile and subsequently, the way that we feel about it. Fortunately, experts have developed an alternative – tooth-colored fillings. Many people wonder if tooth-colored fillings are better than metal ones. Here’s some important information about them which can help you to make that decision for yourself.

What are tooth-colored fillings made from?

Tooth-colored fillings are created from a completely different material to silver amalgam varieties. Most are actually made from a combination of glass and plastic, which is used to create a composite resin which is a color similar to that of healthy, natural teeth. However, it is also possible to get fillings that are made entirely from porcelain. These 100% porcelain fillings are then glazed in a shade that closely matches the color of the tooth into which it will be placed.

Why choose tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings are much more desirable and more often requested than silver amalgam varieties. This is because of the cosmetic and health benefits of choosing them. Here’s what you need to know about why so many patients are now choosing tooth-colored fillings to restore their teeth and smile.

Tooth-colored fillings don’t affect the appearance of your teeth

Unsurprisingly, one of the main reasons why patients choose tooth-colored fillings is because they are nearly impossible to spot when they are in place. Instead of having patches of silver to cover the areas of decay, patients can opt for tooth-colored fillings that leave others around them none-the-wiser. You can eat, drink, talk and laugh without worrying that other people may be judging the way that your teeth look.

Tooth-colored fillings don’t discolor natural teeth

The metal in silver amalgam fillings has been shown to stain teeth over time, with many patients going on to find that their affected teeth develop a greyish hue that looks unnatural and unattractive. Tooth-colored restorations won’t do this, meaning that your smile will stay looking natural and attractive for longer.

Tooth-colored fillings aren’t affected by changes in temperature

Metal fillings react to heat, expanding and contracting when they come into contact with extreme temperature variables such as drinking a hot cup of coffee or when you eat ice cream. Over time, the pressure caused by this expansion and contraction can cause irreversible damage to the teeth. Fortunately, tooth-colored fillings aren’t affected by changes in temperature, enabling patients to avoid this complication.

Tooth-colored fillings are easier to apply

Silver amalgam fillings require a significant amount of the natural tooth to be removed before they can be placed. However, tooth-colored fillings are able to be successfully placed with far less tooth removal.

Silver amalgam fillings could potentially be dangerous

Some studies have shown that having silver amalgam fillings could affect our long-term health and wellbeing. This is because these conventional fillings contain metals including tin, copper, and zinc. Amalgam fillings also contain a significant amount of mercury. While the FDA continues to find silver amalgam fillings safe, there are still many people who are concerned about the effect that they could have on their health.

Many people prefer tooth-colored fillings and it’s easy to see why. If you would like to find out more about tooth-colored fillings, please speak to our discreet and knowledgeable dental team.