If I ask you to imagine a dental filling, you will likely think of a silver-colored filling that you probably got when you were young, which conceals your aching tooth for good.
These silver-colored fillings are called dental amalgams, a common dental restorative material made with mercury and a metal alloy mixture that has been around for hundreds of years. These amalgams made the news quite recently as the European Union prohibited their use for children under 15 and pregnant mothers due to the potential for “mercury poisoning” from the main ingredient in the amalgam.
It brings us to researching alternatives that work just as well for dental fillings without mercury toxicity. Composite resin is one of the most popular tooth-colored and non-toxic materials used for fillings. You can choose from a few options for tooth-colored fillings in North Naples, each with pros and cons. This article looks at 5 interesting facts about choosing the right tooth-colored fillings.
Matching the looks and properties of a natural tooth
A natural tooth is one of your body’s strongest and most resilient substances, if not weakened by the bacterial acids that cause tooth decay. A dental filling aims to fill out a broken or damaged tooth and function as close to an undamaged tooth as possible. Therefore, the substance used for the filling should mimic the properties of a natural tooth.
Dental amalgams, regardless of being made of mercury and metal, which makes them quite different from a natural tooth in appearance, are a good filling simply due to their strength and durability. Therefore, the tooth-colored filling options you opt for should be strong and durable without putting much effort into maintenance and ideally not too expensive.
Offering the same benefits as an amalgam
A dental amalgam has its pros and cons. It has been widely and successfully used for a long time due to its durability. They are also quite effective when filling larger spaces between teeth due to their fluid nature, which easily takes the shape of any orifice, regardless of size or complexity. The alternative should ideally behave the same, offering similarly satisfying results. However, the material used in your filling should always be decided after an inspection and a detailed discussion with your dentist in North Naples.
Less vigorous treatment for the natural tooth
Using a dental amalgam as the filling material for a damaged tooth requires what is known as “undercutting” the tooth. It means removing some of the tooth’s structure around the cavities that require filling for the amalgam to have more space to fasten itself to seal the cavity securely. Tooth-colored fillings, however, do not need this step to deliver a similarly secure filling. They require a more conservative approach to treating the tooth remnants, which is the better long-term option.
Using different methods for different kinds of restorations
A dental amalgam filling often uses the same application method regardless of the differences in individual teeth. When using tooth-colored fillings, however, more complex and special restoration methods are used specifically to fit the teeth of the patient. Many tooth-colored fillings usually take only one visit to the dentist. Still, if the cavities are too deep and complex, the process takes time, perhaps several visits, to complete the filling perfectly and in a long-lasting way.
Being safe and also effective
When it comes to any material used for a dental restoration where it makes continuous contact with bodily fluids such as saliva, the safety of that material is paramount. The biggest reason for the controversy around dental amalgam is also because of some harmful long-term effects connected to mercury’s contact with saliva. Almost all the tooth-colored fillings – composite resin, plastic, and glass ionomer have virtually no reaction when in contact with saliva, making them deemed safe and effective.