Benefits of Composite Fillings
As hard as we may try to properly care for the teeth and gums, the majority of patients has or will develop a dental cavity. These small to moderate areas of tooth decay are the most common dental problem experienced by patients. Fortunately, when diagnosed early on, they are also very easy to treat. Most dental cavities can be effectively treated with a dental filling. There are two types of dental fillings available: tooth-colored composite and mercury/silver amalgam. At Dr. Daniel M. Whiteman’s cosmetic dentistry practice, we find that the majority of our Brookline patients prefer tooth-colored fillings for the added benefits that they provide.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of a white (or tooth-colored) composite material as opposed to the gray, metal material that is used in silver amalgam fillings. When patients require a dental filling to treat a cavity, it is most common for us to recommend tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings offer our patients several benefits over silver amalgam fillings, including the following:
- Superior strength: The metal material used in amalgam fillings is durable. However, it does not serve to strengthen the tooth as tooth-colored fillings can. Tooth-colored composite fillings actually bond with the natural tooth enamel. This provides the patient with superior strength.
- Minimal size: Composite tooth-colored fillings are typically smaller in size than silver amalgam fillings. Dr. Whiteman can focus only on removing decayed tooth material. There is no need to remove healthy tooth enamel in order to accommodate a tooth-colored filling.
- Mercury free: Silver amalgam fillings do contain small traces of mercury. Although many studies show the amount of mercury in dental fillings to be safe, many patients still have concerns and prefer tooth-colored composite fillings because they are mercury free. Some patients may also be allergic to mercury, in which case composite fillings are the safest option.
- Improved aesthetics: Dental fillings are a restorative treatment meant to improve the health of the tooth. However, most patients prefer dental treatments that do not negatively affect the aesthetics of the tooth. Silver amalgam fillings are gray in color and can be a cosmetic blemish on the smile. Tooth-colored fillings can be made to match the patient’s natural tooth color so that they blend in seamlessly with surrounding teeth, leaving the smile unaffected.
In some cases tooth decay may be detected once it has spread and caused significant damage to the tooth. In these cases a dental filling cannot adequately repair the tooth. Dr. Whiteman offers these patients dental crowns treatment. Like dental fillings, dental crowns are available in a tooth-colored material. These porcelain crowns serve to strengthen the damaged tooth while enhancing its aesthetics.
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Most of us dread hearing that we have developed a dental cavity but the truth is, when detected early on, this is a fairly simple dental problem that can be effectively treated with a dental filling. Because of tooth-colored fillings, our patients are able to restore the strength of the tooth without compromising the appearance of the smile. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniel M. Whiteman at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!