If you’ve ever had a cavity, then you probably have a filling. If you have a filling that’s made of metal, then you probably wish for a better one. These days, some dental fillings are still crafted from metal amalgam because it’s durable, but for many patients, the appearance and other drawbacks of metal fillings leave much to be desired. Fortunately, there’s a preferable alternative in tooth-colored fillings, which are better than metal in several different ways (appearance being the most obvious).
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- As the name suggests, metal dental amalgam is a mixture of trace, mostly safe metals, including silver, tin, and mercury. By contrast, tooth-colored fillings are crafted from biocompatible composite resin, which is made from finely-ground acrylic and quartz-like particles. Composite resin can be tinted to match your tooth’s unique color and shade to make your filling blend in almost seamlessly.
- When metal changes temperatures, it expands (in heat) or contracts (in cold). From inside a less flexible tooth, a metal filling that changes shape can endanger the tooth, either by damaging it or by leaving spaces that allow bacteria to reenter and re-infect the tooth structure.
- Composite resin is also popular because of how it interacts with your natural tooth structure. Besides retaining its shape, the resin can also be bonded securely to the tooth’s structure, creating a tight seal that reduces the risks of your tooth becoming infected again. Because of its resilience and adhesion, composite resin can improve many patients’ chances of saving their teeth from further issues by treating their cavities with tooth-colored fillings.