Many advances in dentistry enable you to receive restorations for decayed or damaged teeth that look natural and reduce the likelihood of discomfort. One of the common approaches to natural-looking restorations is tooth-colored fillings.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made Of?
Tooth-colored fillings are usually made of a composite resin material that matches the shade of natural enamel. This resin is placed in the tooth to fill the area where a cavity has been removed. The dentist cures the resin with a special light, then sculpts it into the proper shape. A composite filling typically does not last quite as long as an amalgam filling, but it is virtually indistinguishable from the enamel surface of your teeth.
Tooth-colored fillings can also be made from porcelain. These fillings must be prepared to exactly fit the place made for them in your tooth. They are generally constructed in an off-site lab and delivered to your dentist’s office. Porcelain fillings are long-lasting and can be exactly color-matched to your natural teeth. They also tend to be more expensive than other options for fillings.
Tooth-Colored Fillings vs. Amalgam Fillings
Although tooth-colored fillings have become more popular over the past few years, many dentists still offer amalgam fillings as an option. Amalgam has been used in dentistry for many decades. Recently, however, some controversy has arisen regarding the use of mercury in metal amalgam. As a result, many people have opted to have composite or porcelain fillings, and some people have chosen to have their amalgam fillings replaced with composite or porcelain.
Amalgam fillings tend to last longer than composite fillings, though porcelain fillings tend to be very durable. In some cases, the choice of which type of filling to use is determined by cost. However, for a natural look, especially in teeth that are more visible, composite fillings are an excellent alternative. They are also a good choice if you have any concerns about mercury amalgam.
If you have any questions about tooth-colored fillings or other types of dental restorations, please contact Kelli Slate DDS to schedule an appointment or a consultation.