Tooth decay is a troublesome and common dental condition. In the past, treating small areas of decay involved using dark fillings made of amalgam—a mixture of metals. While amalgam fillings restored the tooth and prevented further decay, they were very conspicuous and gave patients an unnatural looking appearance. Today, however, patients have more options when it comes to treating cavities and preserving the natural appearance of their smiles with composite fillings. Made from glass and durable plastics, composite resin is a tooth-colored restoration that can be tinted to match the exact shade of a biological tooth. Our dentist offers tooth-colored fillings so that patients can enjoy good oral health and an attractive appearance.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
The most obvious benefit to choosing composite resin over amalgam fillings is that composite resin matches the color and luster of teeth making it a very discreet and practically undetectable restoration. In addition to preserving the aesthetics of a smile and a natural appearance, this type of filling offers a few other benefits, too. The chemical makeup of composite resin bonds well to the mineralized structure of teeth. This means that composite resin is a durable alternative to amalgam and requires less tooth removal to place the filling. Since less tooth removal is required for the restoration, as much of the natural structure of the tooth possible is retained—thus providing a more conservative approach to treating tooth decay.
Patients who prefer more biocompatible dental treatments also choose composite resin over amalgam because some patients worry about trace amounts of mercury found in amalgam. While no conclusive evidence points to health risks associated with amalgam fillings, composite resin appeals to health-conscious patients who have concerns with mercury exposure.
How Composite Fillings are Placed
The process for placing a tooth-colored filling is similar to placing a traditional amalgam restoration. The decay will be removed and the area will be cleaned and dried to create a stable bonding surface. Composite resin is applied as a liquid to the tooth and then cured by a light. This process takes about the same amount of time as an amalgam filling.
For more information or to schedule your visit, contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan at 214-343-1818.