Metal vs. Tooth Colored Fillings
By Dr. Tim Simpson on November 30, 2011
One of the most common dental problems that people face and that we deal with daily is dental caries. You probably know them as cavities. Whatever you call them, though, they need to be dealt with in a timely manner. This is why it’s important that you visit an Abilene cosmetic dentist twice a year in order to undergo basic checkups and get the dental care you need when you need it most.
Causes of Dental Caries (Cavities)
Dental caries are most often caused by the bacteria in the mouth. If there are food particles between teeth or sugars and other carbohydrates on the tooth surface, the bacteria eats this and turns the food particles into acid. This combination of food particles, bacteria, and acid form into plaque. The plaque gradually erodes the enamel and even the dentin later of the tooth. At our Abilene cosmetic dentistry practice, we use the latest diagnostic techniques to detect cavities and tooth decay.
Why Cavities Need to Get Filled
Cavities can weaken a tooth over time. Though they start small, they can grow in size if not treated. If the cavity spreads and grows, it can infect interior pulp of the tooth, resulting in pain and discomfort. Getting a filling will involve the removal of decayed tooth structure to halt the progression of tooth decay and to restore the overall strength of the tooth.
Metal Fillings and Tooth Colored Fillings
In the past, fillings were made of a metal amalgam. Today, fillings are available that are made from composite materials and are the same color as the tooth itself. The tooth-colored fillings are preferable, and it’s not just because of the aesthetics.
Why Tooth Colored Fillings are Better
Apart from the exceptional cosmetic dentistry results that tooth-colored fillings can achieve, they help patients maintain and achieve better dental health in the long run.
For one, prepping a tooth for a tooth-colored filling requires less removal of tooth structure than prepping a tooth for metal fillings. Ideally, a conservative approach is best for dental restorations. Keeping as much natural tooth structure intact as possible is always preferable to using foreign materials to restore a tooth.
In addition to this, metal fillings posed some serious risks. Some contain traces of mercury, which is highly toxic and dangerous to humans. The metal fillings could also warp slightly, expanding a bit in very hot weather and shrinking a bit in very cold weather. This can gradually compromise tooth structure, leading to cracks in the tooth.
Other Options for Tooth Decay Treatment
Sometimes the tooth decay will be too substantial to be dealt with using dental fillings. In these cases, it’s best to use inlays, onlays, or Abilene dental crowns. Again, a more conservative approach is generally best, so we will always strive to restore your tooth effectively while affecting as little tooth structure as possible.
Get More Information About Dental Fillings and Dental Treatments
For more information about dental fillings and treatments for cavities and tooth decay, be sure to contact Abilene cosmetic dentist Dr. Tim Simpson today. We look forward to meeting you in person.
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“I have used Dr Simpson for the last 20 years. I cannot say enough about how friendly, awesome and amazing he AND his staff are. I highly recommend him and his office! Amazing care and people!” Terri C.