When dental fillings aren’t taken care of, they can easily become worn down and even fall out. However, there are some cases where even if the right things are done, they still can cause problems. This is largely because they have an average shelf life of about 5 to 10 years, but it’s also because silver amalgam isn’t always the best material to use when placing fillings. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to settle for gray or reflective materials just to bring back your smile’s functionality and luster. If you believe your fillings need replacement or you fear that a tooth has broken down in some way, give Dr. Aten and Dr. Brown a call to schedule a consultation!
It’s not uncommon for metal fillings to be made up of a variety of materials, including nickel, gold, copper, tin, and even amalgam mercury. In contrast, tooth-colored fillings make use of composite resin to restore teeth. This material is a combination of both glass and plastic, allowing your next restoration to not only remain durable, but look natural once placed. Afterwards, it should be almost indistinguishable from your existing enamel. That certainly can’t be said for silver fillings, which tend to have a noticeable silver sheen in them.
While tooth-colored fillings are known for their natural-looking appearance, they also hold other worthwhile benefits. For example, since amalgam fillings contain metal, they tend to expand and contract when exposed to extreme temperatures. If you have silver fillings and have ever found it difficult to eat ice cream or drink hot beverages, you may already be familiar with the tooth sensitivity that can occur. This constant flux could also put them at higher risk of breaking down and even falling out.
Once we complete an exam of your teeth and remove any existing decay or plaque, we’ll start preparing your tooth so it can receive a filling. First, we apply an etchant material to the tooth to ensure the resin can establish an effective bond. From there, we’ll apply the tooth-colored filling material onto the tooth and begin molding and shaping it. This etchant material ensures the filling stays in place. When it’s shaped, we’ll harden it instantly using a special curing light.
You can expect your tooth-colored fillings to be personalized and shaded exactly. However, if the fillings become damaged, this can influence their appearance and make them more noticeable. For that reason, you’re going to want to avoid chewing on inedible objects (i.e. pens, pencils, packages, fingernails, etc.) Additionally, damaged enamel is generally more prone to staining, so it’s crucial to perform routine brushing and flossing daily as well as stay committed to routine exams and cleanings at our office.