One of the world’s most common dental problems are caries, more commonly known as cavities. They are areas of decay in the teeth caused by bacteria, often exacerbated by sweets. If left untreated, cavities can lead to serious problems in oral health, often-causing pain and sensitivity, oral inflammation, and abscesses in the gums. If the cavity is severe enough, the tooth may even have to be removed. Treatment usually involves a dental filling: the cavity is filled with a metallic amalgam intended to restore the lost enamel. The amalgam, however, leaves the teeth with metallic spots. For many years, it was the only option to repair cavities. Nowadays, however, there is an alternative way to repair the damage without sacrificing your smile: white filings.
A Bright Alternative
White fillings also called dental composites, are made of a mixture of plastic and ceramic. The white filings comes in a variety of shades, and can be made to match the color of the existing tooth.
The application is simple: first, the area is carefully dried to maximize adhesion. Unlike the amalgam, which needs to be joined to the tooth with a cement or through joinery techniques that hold it in place (often having to drill out healthy enamel), the dental composite bonds to the tooth naturally. The composite is applied in layers, with each successive layer hardened through a special wavelength of light, and finally shaped and polished to near-perfectly resemble the original tooth.
Sturdy and Strong
The natural bonding of the dental composite to the tooth in a white filling offers a few advantages over traditional amalgam fillings. While comparably sturdy, the composite material is more resilient to extreme temperatures. If the white filling is damaged, new layers of composite can be added to repair it, versus the amalgam filling which typically needs to be fully replaced. In addition, with the layer-by-layer application, natural bonding process, and easy resemblance to original tooth material, the dental composite material can also be used to repair teeth that have chipped or broken.
Talk to Your Doctor about What’s Right for You
White fillings offer many benefits that amalgam fillings do not, but they are not perfect for every situation. Dental composite fillings in high use areas (such as on the back molars) tend to wear down faster than their amalgam counterparts. Certain foods and beverages, such as red wine, and coffee, can lightly stain the material. Composite fillings also take longer to apply and tend to be more expensive, with most dental plans covering white fillings only in the front teeth. Overall, however, they are comparable to traditional fillings in strength, with the additional benefit of keeping your teeth white.
New York Cosmetic Dentistry & Smile Makeovers offers a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures. Get in touch with the office today and see how you can enhance your smile!
If you are interested in finding information about white filings, then please visit Dr. Shekib’s website. Please feel free to contact us in New York or online at any time, we are here to help you achieve your smile that you have wanted.