Tooth Colored Fillings
Dalton, GA & Calhoun, GA
If you have or suspect you may have a cavity that needs filling, you should avoid metal amalgam fillings. Not only are they unattractive and highly visible, they can damage your teeth and are potentially toxic. At Beautiful Smiles by Design in Dalton, Georgia, we offer two types of tooth-colored fillings to ensure you get a smile that is both attractive and healthy.
The Problems with Amalgam Fillings
Dental amalgam is a product of the early days of dentistry, from the days when anesthesia was not an option for dental patients and most areas of dental care were as poorly regarded as patient comfort. During these frontier days, any person with a pair of pliers could call himself a dentist, and in fact the first dental professional organization asked its members to sign a pledge that they would not use amalgam fillings because amalgam contains mercury. Members who defended dental amalgam argued that it was at least as safe as arsenic, which was introduced shortly after amalgam for use in endodontics.
Nowadays, arsenic has rightly been banned as a deadly poison, but dental amalgam still remains in use, though questions about its safety remain. The toxicity of mercury in dental amalgam is considered low, but it is not negligible.
In addition to concerns about mercury toxicity, amalgam fillings may be bad for your teeth. First, because amalgams are metal, they expand and contract more quickly with temperature changes than the natural ceramic material of your tooth. This can lead to wear on your tooth as well as the creation of tiny cracks in the teeth. These cracks can catch food and harbor bacteria, leading to decay that goes around and under the amalgam filling, essentially creating an “express route” for bacteria to reach deeper into the tooth.
Microcracks can also make a tooth more likely to suffer a stress fracture later on, which will likely require a dental crown to treat.
Tooth-colored Fillings Are Better Alternatives
Tooth-colored fillings are better alternatives for your teeth not only because they look more attractive, but because they are better for your teeth. At Beautiful Smiles by Design, we offer two options for tooth-colored fillings: composite resin and ceramic inlays or onlays.
Composite resin is a plastic material that is used as a filling. It is initially soft when it is placed into a cavity where decay has been removed. Then a curing light is used to cause the material to harden. This plastic material creates a tight seal against your tooth and has more similar expansion and contraction rates to your natural tooth material so it won’t lead to stress fractures. It can either be used in its initial off-white color or can be color mixed to better match your natural tooth enamel, but either way it is more attractive than the silver amalgam that turns black with age.
Ceramic inlays or onlays can be used to address more extensive decay than composite resin. These ceramic restorations are shaped to precisely fit your teeth, and when they are bonded to a tooth they not only cover decay but add strength. These restorations are the most aesthetic option available: not only are they tooth-colored–they have the luster of natural tooth enamel, making them very hard to spot.
Your Great Smile Is Waiting
If you have cavities or if you have a mouth full of discolored metal amalgam restorations, you can get a smile that is healthy and attractive with tooth-colored fillings. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment at Beautiful Smiles by Design in Dalton, Georgia.