When your parents and grandparents had a cavity, dentists had one main option to deal with the decay: a silver amalgam filling. But filling choices have evolved significantly over the past couple decades. In fact, younger dental patients may only be familiar with tooth-colored fillings. Here, Dr. Ashwini Bhave explains how these fillings have improved the way that dentists like her can treat cavities.
They Make Your Smile Look Better
Tooth-colored fillings live up to their name: they really are designed to match the natural color of the rest of your tooth. At Bay Area Dental Specialists, Dr. Bhave blends composite resin to achieve the ideal match. This makes your filling practically imperceptible, a major upgrade from having some conspicuously shiny metal in your mouth.
They Are Durable
Part of the reason it took so long for resin to be used for fillings is that resin used to be significantly weaker than amalgam. Hence, attempts at using resin for cavities would only last a few years before a replacement filling was necessary. That changed when experts were able to create a resin substance that could last about seven to 10 years. While that’s still not quite as durable as amalgam fillings, given that their lifespans are now comparable, tooth-colored fillings have become a more reasonable option.
They Are Smoother
Resin fillings have a smoother surface than amalgam fillings. Not only are they easier to run your tongue along, but they also can keep your teeth healthier since rough surfaces can collect more plaque and make it more challenging to brush.
They’re Mercury Free
Amalgam fillings contain a trace amount of mercury. While these fillings have not been found to have widespread health implications, having no mercury is obviously the safer choice. The composite resin in tooth-colored fillings is composed of silica, plastic, and glass ionomer.
They Bond to Your Teeth
Resin connects to your tooth much more easily than amalgam. This is helpful because it allows Dr. Bhave to leave more of your natural tooth intact when preparing for the filling. It also can prevent the filling from accidentally dislodging, which is more common for amalgam fillings.
Do You Have a Cavity That Needs Treatment?
Whether you have a cavity that you have procrastinated on treating or are overdue on a routine dental examination to confirm that your teeth are free of cavities, Dr. Bhave can help. To make an appointment at Bay Area Dental Specialists, please call (408) 809-7760 today.