Traditional, or amalgam, fillings are made up of various metals. The metals are mixed with liquid mercury to form an amalgam. This amalgam is molded into the tooth, where it bonds to the tooth’s structure. Amalgam fillings are also sometimes referred to as silver fillings. Despite their durability, they are noticeable when you open your mouth wide. This is why many patients choose white fillings instead.
Composite fillings are made of a composite resin material. The material is tinted to match the natural color of your teeth. The material can be shaped and polished so it blends in with the rest of your smile. Once the filling is placed, the material hardens into a strong bond with the enamel and dentin. The result is a restoration that is both aesthetically pleasing and strong. At Lutke Dental, it is used to repair decayed teeth by treating cavities and sealing the damaged area to prevent further decay.
The dentist will ensure your tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic before starting, so you will not feel discomfort during the filling placement. Also, the dentist will use a special laser or UV light to harden the filling material once placed in the prepared cavity. After the material is hardened, the dentist will shape the material to fit your tooth’s shape and bite pattern, and the treatment will be complete. If you have a deep cavity that needs a large filling, your dentist may temporarily fill the hole until your follow-up appointment. The temporary filling will be removed at your next visit, and your new filling will be placed there. Your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a few days after your procedure while the composite adjusts to its new environment in your mouth.
A tooth-colored filling is used to repair a tooth affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite resin that looks similar to your natural tooth structure. Many patients are choosing white fillings instead of silver amalgam fillings to avoid the noticeable black spots that may occur over time with amalgam fillings. White fillings can also replace old metal fillings for a more natural smile.
In addition to cosmetic benefits, a white filling is also ideal for patients who suffer from sensitivity to heat since the composite material does not conduct as much heat as silver fillings. Also, white fillings require less removal of your tooth structure than an amalgam filling does. Another benefit of composite fillings is that they do not contain mercury-like metal fillings. Lastly, white fillings can strengthen and stabilize your tooth. This means that the tooth is less susceptible to fracture from biting pressure in the future.
When it comes to replacing cavities and chips in your smile, you have a variety of options to choose from. Consult with our cosmetic dentist to learn more about the pros and cons of each filling so you can decide which is best for your smile. Contact Lutke Dental at 5045 Lorimar Dr #110, Plano, TX 75093, or call (972) 378-4141 to learn more.