Metal amalgam fillings are a common approach to tooth restoration, used to restore teeth after decayed areas have been removed. In time, however, these fillings can become discolored and make the surrounding teeth look darker. Replacing amalgam fillings with tooth-colored fillings gives you a more natural look.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made Of?
Tooth-colored fillings are generally made of either porcelain or a composite resin. Porcelain fillings are very durable, but must be custom-made, usually in an off-site laboratory. Your dentist removes the decayed area of your tooth—or removes your existing metal filling—then makes a cast that is used to make your final filling. Composite resin can be placed in the tooth in the dentist’s office just like metal amalgam. It is cured with a special light, making it hard and durable.
The type of tooth-colored filling you choose is based on your personal preference as well as that of your dentist. This type of filling can be designed to match or very closely approximate the color of your teeth, giving you a natural look and eliminating stains that can be caused by metal amalgam fillings.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Porcelain and resin fillings provide a number of advantages over metal fillings. These advantages have led many people to choose to have their old amalgam fillings replaced. Some of the advantages include:
- Resin is more flexible and less likely to pull away from the surrounding tooth
- Less tooth structure must be removed to make room for a resin filling
- Tooth-colored fillings do not contain mercury, which concerns some patients
A disadvantage of tooth-colored fillings is that they tend not to last as long as metal amalgam. With proper care, however, they will serve you well for a decade or more. Your dentist will examine your new fillings on a regular basis during your routine examinations. Regular brushing and flossing will help reduce the chances of developing additional decay in other teeth or in other areas of the teeth you’ve already had restored.
If you’re looking to get tooth-colored fillings, contact our friendly team at Bliss Dental to schedule an appointment today!