No matter how hard we try, cavities are still a persistent and common problem in maintaining dental health today. In the past, fillings were made of an amalgam of metals, such as silver, tin, copper and other materials. This was the best alternative at the time for filling cavities, but the look of dark metal in the mouth can be a detractor. Fortunately, your dentist in Arlington, VA, Dr. Hazim Sadeddin, recommends the versatility of composite resin, a tooth-colored filling, as an alternative.
Benefits of Composite Resin
Composite resin has become a very popular choice for fillings and is considered the next step up from amalgam. The following are a few benefits of tooth-colored fillings over metal fillings:
- Attractive — The biggest plus is the fact that composite resin is colored like natural tooth enamel and provides a blended look. In many cases, one can hardly tell where the filling ends and the tooth begins.
- Easily shaped — After the composite material hardens and bonds to the tooth, it can be subtly reshaped to align with the patient’s bite pattern. This provides both comfort and a more natural look to the filling.
- Adhesion — Composite bonds more naturally to the tooth than metal, which requires less removal of tooth tissue for proper bonding.
- Insulation — Metal amalgam contracts and expands with cold and heat, which can result in the tooth cracking. Composite is highly resistant to temperature change and keeps the tooth insulated in extreme temperatures.
- Strength — Composite fillings can restore a tooth to near its original strength, helping to deter further damage in what would be an otherwise weakened tooth.
Composites have been regarded as having a shorter lifespan than amalgam, but with newer materials and technologies, they are proving to last longer.
Am I a Good Candidate for Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Most new fillings are now being completed with composite resin, although there are still options to have amalgam fillings if needed or requested. If you are in a situation where your old amalgam fillings are decaying, it is a good idea to have them replaced with composite resin. Also, if you have a large area of dark metal that is very noticeable, you may want to consider replacing them as a cosmetic enhancement.
When Porcelain Can Be of Benefit
Porcelain fillings offer an additional cosmetic esthetic to filling restorations. Porcelain inlays or onlays, an alternative for larger fillings, can provide many high quality options. The following are a few benefits to porcelain:
- Porcelain is a highly realistic and natural-looking material, with the surface reflecting light and appearing nearly identical to enamel.
- It is a durable material and will last for an extremely long time.
- It is highly resistant to staining and wear.
If you are interested in learning more about tooth-colored fillings or your options for restoration, give us a call at (703) 495-2247, or request an appointment online today.