Tooth decay is a serious problem that can contribute to further complications, such as tooth loss and gum disease. When patients show signs of tooth decay, it’s important to have those cavities filled early while they are still small and manageable.
A cosmetic dentist may recommend that tooth-colored fillings be used in treating cavities for a number of reasons.
Patients have a number of choices when it comes to fillings. Older materials like amalgam, or silver, fillings have been used for decades and some patients continue to use them. Others opt for fillings made of more modern composite materials made of resin and glass, which can match the natural shade of the teeth.
A cosmetic dentist may recommend that tooth-colored fillings be used in treating cavities for a number of reasons. First and foremost, composite fillings are more attractive than their counterparts. Silver fillings tend to be prominent in the mouth, while tooth-colored fillings are barely noticeable.
At the same time, composite fillings form a more solid bond with the tooth’s enamel. This quality helps the cosmetic dentist preserve more of the natural tooth material in filling the cavity because less enamel has to be removed to accommodate the filling.
Composite materials also typically last longer. They’re more durable, which means that patients with tooth-colored fillings are less likely to need replacement fillings. Also, composites do not expand and contract to the same degree as amalgam materials, reducing the chance that the tooth will be cracked by a composite filling.
Some patients have concerns about the potential side effects of amalgam fillings, too. One of the metals contained in silver fillings is mercury, which is known to have toxic effects, so patients may want to avoid it in their fillings.
Because of the advantages of tooth-colored fillings, some patients may visit a cosmetic dentist to have their existing silver fillings replaced. If an existing amalgam filling has deteriorated or broken, it may be a good idea to have that filling carefully removed and replaced to limit your exposure to mercury’s potentially toxic effects.
If you need to have a cavity filled in the Bedford area, talk with our experienced team at Anderson Dentistry about your options to make a well-informed treatment decision. Call 817-485-2111 to schedule your consultation.