When you need a tooth filled you can choose one of three types of fillings: gold, silver amalgam, or composite. Composite fillings are also referred to as “white fillings” “metal-free fillings” and “tooth-colored fillings.” Because gold fillings are the strongest and can withstand bruxing (grinding and clenching of your teeth) they have often been used to fill back molars. Silver amalgam fillings were the most popular for decades because they were nearly as strong as gold, lighter in color so not as noticeable, and less-expensive. The most common fillings today, however, are composite fillings. What are the benefits of composite fillings?
Composite resin is a plastic-type material mixed with powdered glass. It has the appearance of natural dentition and has been the material of choice for anterior teeth since its invention. At one time composite fillings were not strong enough to withstand the chewing forces of back teeth, but with years of improvement, they are now suitable for any teeth.
Composite resin fillings have many advantages:
- They look and feel like natural teeth
- They require less removal of healthy tooth structure
- The resin does not contract and expand like metal fillings do. Contracting and expanding can lead to cracks and fractures.
- They add strength to the natural tooth structure because they are bonded
- They do not contain mercury
Replacing Your Metal Fillings
Although replacing your metal fillings is not necessary, it can have its advantages. For instance, because the bonding process and the material properties of the composite works to strengthen the tooth, it may help prevent cracks and fractures in the future. Also, if you have silver amalgam fillings and are worried about mercury you can rest easy with composite fillings. The most common reason composite fillings are used is for their esthetics. They blend with your natural dentition so no one can tell you even have fillings.
ABOUT YOUR SHERIDAN DENTISTS:
Questions about our Sheridan, WY dentist office? To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (307) 672-7567. We welcome residents of Sheridan, Gillette, Billings, Miles City, and the neighboring communities.