Guide to Dental Fillings at A Plus Dental
In the past, if you needed a cavity repaired metal amalgam fillings were the primary option to repair the damage.
However, dental fillings have come a long way in the last couple of years, and today patients at A Plus Dental have a more attractive option than traditional, obvious, metal fillings.
We offer tooth-coloured composite fillings to restore teeth to their full form and function.
Dentists have repaired and filled cavities with silver-coloured (amalgam) fillings for generations. And although these fillings are considered safe and affordable, many people now opt for white fillings (composite resins) to repair their teeth and improve their smile. Before deciding which filling is right for you, here’s what you need to know about your fillings options.
Not all cavities are suitable for all cavity fillings, so it is important that you know what your options are, and what the best treatment is. Let’s take a look at the different types of cavity fillings and some of the benefits of composite fillings over traditional ones.
Gold has been used in tooth repair for over 1,000 years. Because gold is durable and doesn’t corrode, gold mixed with other metals is sometimes used to make fillings called inlays and onlays.
These fillings can last 15 years or more, though they require a two-appointment process. Gold fillings are the most expensive choice due to the price of gold, plus the amount of work involved in shaping gold for dental use.
Amalgam is a mix of metals, including tin, silver, copper, mercury, and zinc. These fillings are hard-wearing and less expensive than alternatives.
However, they require the removal of more tooth structure and can corrode over time, discolouring remaining tooth enamel. The most significant disadvantage is their visible silver colour, which is why they are relatively rare on front teeth.
White (composite) fillings
These composite resins – blends of plastics and small glass particles – can be used to repair cavities and restore or correct the colour and shape of a tooth. The procedure is routine and consists of just one appointment.
Advantages of white fillings
Dentists and patients usually list five advantages for composite fillings:
- Appearance– Unlike amalgam or gold fillings, composite fillings can be finished to look just like your natural teeth as their colour can be blended into a seamless finish. This makes composites the ideal choice for front teeth, which need to be white and attractive in your smile.
- Versatility– Composite resin is versatile and can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped, broken, or severely worn.
- Stability– Compared to other fillings a composite filling requires that less tooth structure be removed, so more of the original tooth is preserved. The composite filling also bonds with the natural tooth, offering additional stability to teeth that may have been weakened by decay or breakage.
- Metal Free– White fillings do not contain metal, particularly mercury. Some countries no longer use fillings containing mercury as some studies suggest that mercury used in amalgam fillings can pose a threat to your health (The science on this is not conclusive).
- Protection– White fillings are not affected by temperature changes in the mouth, unlike amalgam fillings that can contract and expand as temperatures change. This helps protect filled teeth from a fracture.
Each filling material has pros and cons. White fillings are unsurpassed for a keeping your brilliant smile, while amalgam fillings are as strong, long-lasting, and more economical than composites or gold.
Whatever your preference, we suggest you come in for a consultation at A Plus Dental to discuss which type of filling is best for your teeth. Together, we’ll come up with the perfect solution to protect your teeth and dental health!
What you can do to protect composite fillings
To keep your composite fillings at their best and prevent additional repairs, you’ll want to keep up your good basic oral hygiene. While fillings don’t get cavities, the teeth they are in and the teeth that are nearby do.
So brush your teeth twice a day using soft-bristled toothbrush and floss once a day, preferably in the evening. Limit sugary foods and drinks, and visit A Plus Dental regularly for routine examinations and cleanings.
Just as your natural teeth, composite fillings need to be protected against changes in colour from smoking, coffee, teas, and other staining foods.
See our previous post about white fillings
It All Adds Up at A Plus Dental!
A Plus Dental believes in honesty, trust, individuality, compassion and comfort. Our goal is to give our Campbelltown area patients, from infants to seniors, caring, relaxing treatments in a comfortable environment.
When you choose A Plus Dental, you take the next step towards a beautiful, healthy smile with teeth that feel great in your mouth!!
We have over 30 years of combined experience and treat each of our patients with the utmost care and respect.
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Call our Campbelltown dental practice on (02) 4627 3833 or visit us at Suite 3/300 Queen Street in Campbelltown.