One of the more common dental health problems that people deal with is tooth fillings, also known as dental restoration or dental filling. They are usually required when the tooth has been damaged or decayed in some way due to a poor diet rich in sugar, nail biting, or other misuses. While dental fillings may solve issues with the damaged or decaying tooth, the off-coloring of the filling itself can draw attention.
Fortunately, newer tooth-colored dental fillings are not only aesthetically more pleasing for dental patients and their pearly white smiles, but tooth-colored fillings are also stronger and better from a strictly dental point of view.
If you’re in need of a filling and are interested in trying out this new dental restoration procedure, your San Antonio family dentist, Dr. Kevin Sandefer, has over 15 years of experience in treating those who need fillings to relieve them of pain and restore tooth functionality.
Here are a few things you should know about tooth-colored fillings.
The Advantages of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
If you’ve ever had a tooth filling, you’re probably familiar with the traditional filling material made with an amalgam of silver or similar substances. These fillings are durable and relatively inexpensive, but they may stand out as they don’t match the color of your other teeth. Furthermore, as these amalgam fillings age, they tend to swell and exert potentially harmful pressures on the walls of the tooth. This often leads to a fracture of tooth structure.
Because of this, tooth-covered dental fillings are quickly becoming the new standard in dental care. These types of fillings are preferable from an aesthetic perspective, and they are just as safe as silver fillings; however, tooth-colored dental fillings are technologically superior and provide more support for your tooth.
Some of the key advantages of tooth-colored fillings include:
- They bond to the tooth to make it stronger.
- They are “white” or tooth-colored.
- They contain no mercury.
Traditional silver fillings are true “filler” material that does not contribute to the strength of the tooth, whereas tooth-colored or white fillings do strengthen the tooth and help prevent fractures or breaks in the future. All in all, tooth-colored fillings are the best option for those that are suffering from a damaged or decaying tooth.
Get Your Tooth-Colored Dental Filling Today
The procedure for a tooth-colored filling is just as quick and easy as a silver filling. At our San Antonio dentist office, we remove the decay and use a mild but very safe acid–just about the same acidity as the coke you might drink–to etch the edge of the cavity. This is very similar in method to how you would etch glass to give it that frost appearance. This process provides a retentive surface that we can bond something to. After this, we condition the inside of the tooth with a special substance that allows us to bond the filling material to the inside of the tooth.
Research shows us that we can achieve over 75 percent of the strength an original tooth had before decay. Traditional silver fillings were functional at best, but tooth-colored fillings represent the best advances in dental health treatment, not just solving a problem but improving your health and quality of life.