Tooth fillings have been traditionally made from materials known collectively as amalgam. The amalgam is comprised of materials including silver, copper, tin, zinc and mercury. Amalgam fillings can last a long time, but there are some drawbacks to the traditional silver fillings that can be avoided with tooth-colored resin composite fillings. Thanks to advances in dental technology, you may discover that replacing your silver fillings with tooth-colored alternatives is the right choice for you.
Health Risks of Silver Fillings
Silver fillings do not blend with the natural color of your teeth, so they present an unattractive appearance. Amalgam fillings are made of up to 50% mercury, which is necessary for proper bonding of the other metals in its composition. Without mercury, amalgam fillings would not be as strong and durable. The mercury content in amalgam fillings presents potential health risks for patients who opt for the more affordable choice of silver fillings over tooth-colored fillings.
No More Limitations with Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a resin composite that can match your natural teeth and can provide the durability needed for chewing. Previously, resin fillings could only be used in front teeth, since they lacked the strength necessary for back teeth to handle the rigors of food chewing. Thanks to advances in technology, you can replace your silver fillings with tooth-colored substitutes with total confidence.
Less Drilling for Tooth-Colored Fillings
Since amalgam fillings do not bond with the tooth, your dentist will need to remove more area from your natural teeth to provide an adequate surface to retain the silver filling. Amalgam fillings will also contract and expand with changes in temperature, which can cause gaps that compromise the health of your teeth.
Resin composite will bond with your natural teeth to form a natural-looking surface to protect your teeth from decay. There is no need to remove as much structure from the tooth to facilitate a good bond, so less drilling is required. It also results in a more reliable and aesthetically pleasing protective bond for your teeth.
Amalgam fillings are still an option for patients who wish to save the additional expense of resin composite fillings. Silver fillings have a proven track record of providing protection to teeth for many decades, and are still a viable option, particularly for back teeth needed for chewing.
Choose the Right Fillings for You
Resin composite fillings take longer to do than silver fillings because they are formulated to specifically match the color of each patient’s natural teeth and require more work to form a natural appearance. This adds to the cost of the resin filling versus the silver equivalent. Still, more and more patients who want a more attractive appearance as well as a durable filling are choosing the tooth-colored alternative to silver fillings.
Talk with your Pearland Family dentist about the advantages of tooth-colored fillings and find out if they are right for you. We believe every patient deserves a fabulous smile, so we make our services as affordable as possible. We accept most major insurance providers and offer a Family Dental Plan solution that will make your family’s dental care even more affordable.