There is an extremely good chance that you have a dental filling in your mouth right now. Over 90 percent of all American adults have some degree of tooth decay, and over 75 percent of that demographic have at least one dental filling. While in the past, metal amalgam fillings were the go-to filling material of choice for patients with tooth decay, it has started to take a back seat to tooth-colored fillings in recent years. Many patients are shying away from amalgam for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it is quite visible in the filled tooth, it can expand and contract with heat and cold and potentially damage the tooth, and patients are hesitant about the mercury in the filling. When we here at Children's Dentistry of DuPont meet a patient who needs dental fillings, we like to offer them tooth colored fillings instead, giving them a more attractive and natural looking restoration for their tooth decay.
What are Tooth Colored Fillings and Why Do We Recommend Them?
Most people who have tooth decay do not want to advertise to the rest of the world that they have required a filling to treat it. Unfortunately, with amalgam fillings, whenever you yawn or open your mouth to speak or eat, your fillings can be on display for anyone who is looking in your direction. Getting a tooth-colored filling can be a more subtle and discreet way of managing your tooth decay, allowing you to get treatment for it without unsightly fillings blemishing your teeth.
There are two main types of tooth-colored filling material that we reach for when treating tooth decay in our patients. One type of material that we like to use is something called composite resin. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material that is derived from a blend of glass or quartz that is mixed into a plastic resinous base. Unlike metal amalgam fillings, that require we remove a significant portion of the tooth to fill it, the composite resin can be pressed directly into the cleaned site, which means we can remove less tooth. It is good for visible front teeth, as it can be brittle and prone to chipping. However, it looks quite natural, giving you an attractive restoration when you have tooth decay on a visible tooth.
Another material we strongly recommend is called porcelain. Many people mistakenly think porcelain is fragile because it is used in fine dishware, but in fact, it is quite strong and durable. It is even more durable than composite resin and is one of the strongest filling materials we can use. It is good for both front and back teeth and can last many years if you take good care of your teeth. It is less likely to chip or break, is free from metal so it is good for people with metal allergies and will not damage your natural tooth. It can be dyed to match your surrounding teeth and is a fantastic option for your filling.
Let Us Help
If you suspect that you may have tooth decay, or you are interested in learning more about how we here at Children's Dentistry of DuPont use tooth-colored fillings to treat cavities, please give us a call today at to set up an appointment with us to learn more.