We’ve all been there; you’re having a conversation and you notice the person you're speaking with has something on their tooth. Is it food? Is it a filling? It's hard to tell. Silver amalgam fillings not only stand out, but they contain trace amounts of mercury, an element that comes with safety risks at any level.
Shore Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers tooth-colored fillings at our Lincroft dental office. If you suspect a cavity or have been referred for a filling, call us to schedule a checkup today!
Like silver amalgam fillings, tooth-colored composite fillings are used to repair a tooth following a cavity, crack, fracture, or to replace decayed tooth material. The affected portion of the tooth is removed from the tooth and the composite material fills and seals the tooth to protect it from bacterial infection. Composite fillings are crafted using ceramic and plastic resin, which means they are free from toxic metals.
Currently, there are two main options when it comes to tooth fillings — silver amalgams and composites. Both come with their own pros and cons. A few of the these are mentioned below.
Silver amalgam fillings have been in use for over a 100 years with minimal reports of adverse health effects, but mercury is known to be a powerful neurotoxin. Composite fillings are not without their own risks since they are made of composite resins.
The average silver amalgam filling lasts twelve-and-a-half years. Composite fillings generally last six-and-a-half years, which means you will have to undergo a more frequent replacement schedule.
One of the benefits of composite fillings is that less drilling is needed to place the filling. This also means that the dentist can preserve more natural tooth material, which means the tooth will be stronger.
A small percentage of patients are allergic to the metals found in silver amalgam fillings, which can complicate the treatment process. Composite fillings contain no known allergens.
A vast majority of patients find composite fillings to be a more attractive alternative to silver amalgams, which may be noticed by conversation partners.
Like traditional fillings, composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. The tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic and the dentist drills into the tooth to remove decayed material. The space is then sanitized and prepped for the filling. The composite filling is tinted, shaped, and polished to blend perfectly with your teeth.
Before you leave the office, we will provide you with care instructions and recommend a checkup schedule. Some hot and cold sensitivities are to be expected in the days and weeks following your fillings. This will subside once the nerves in the tooth acclimate to the filling.
Shore Smile Dental offers several types of filling materials, each comes with their own unique benefits and care considerations. Dr. Herman would be happy to help you decide which type of tooth filling material will work best for your oral health and budget considerations. The most common types of fillings are composite fillings and silver amalgam fillings.
Shore Smile Dental offers tooth-colored, mercury-free fillings for Lincroft patients. Learn more about composite fillings during your next appointment.Book an Appointment