Tooth Colored Fillings
Eating what we love, and brushing less often than we should, can lead to decay of the teeth or cavities. Many of us have needed fillings for cavities at some point during our lifetimes; and many of those fillings have probably been a metal base, or amalgam fillings.
To ensure patient safety and aesthetics, we use only strong composite resin to fill your cavities. Traditional amalgam tooth fillings result in dark, highly-visible restorations that contain trace amounts of mercury. With composite resin or porcelain, you get a lasting, tooth-colored filling that closely matches your tooth’s natural color, so you don’t have to expose your cavity repairs to the world.
If you need new fillings, or if you want to have the old ones replaced with tooth-colored fillings, we can help. Please contact Park Meadows Dental Care for an appointment with a Centennial cosmetic dentist.
What Are White Fillings and How Are They Applied?
White fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, are composed of tooth-colored plastics and glass, usually the same composite that is used in porcelain veneers to fix chipped teeth. Dr. Berry will apply the composite in layers over your cavity and then harden it into a shape that conforms to the rest of your tooth. At the end of the session, Dr. Berry will polish your new composite to prevent early wear and staining.
There are many benefits of white fillings over metal amalgam fillings, including:
- Tooth-colored material doesn’t turn black with age
- Less sensitivity due to heat and cold
- Effectively seals the tooth to prevent penetration of food, bacteria, and acid
- Harden more quickly than metal amalgam
- Do not contain mercury (see below)
Combined, these benefits make white fillings a far superior option over metal amalgam fillings.
Are Metal Amalgam Fillings Harmful?
Metal amalgam fillings come from the era when cocaine and opium were household substances because we were unaware of how dangerous they could be. Similarly, metal amalgam fillings contain a harmful substance, although how harmful it is when in the filling, we can’t say. Typically, metal amalgam fillings are more than half mercury by weight. Mercury is a toxic metal that can damage your brain and other nerves, as well as cause numerous other health problems. Mercury leaches out of the fillings and can be found in other parts of the tooth and throughout the bodies of people with mercury fillings.
Currently, the American Dental Association and the Food and Drug Administration maintain that dental amalgam is safe, but there are international treaties asking dentists to completely phase it out as a filling material in the near future.