At one point or another, you’ll likely find that you have to have a cavity filled. Drs. Icard and Strein use tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings or white fillings at our Harrisburg dental practice to repair the cavity. These modern white fillings are an alternative to traditional silver (amalgam) fillings and ideal for patients concerned about mercury, which comprises 50 percent of a dental amalgam.
What are Composite Fillings?
A composite filling is in its natural appearance a tooth-colored filling. It is made up of resin, particles of glass, and sometimes porcelain. Though considered perfectly safe, we prefer them over silver fillings. Preference is based on the manner in which they bond to the teeth that allow us to leave a greater amount of tooth structure intact. Amalgam fillings require much more removal of healthy tooth structure.
What is the Process?
Our first priority is making sure that you feel comfortable during any dental procedures. We first numb the affected area with local anesthesia and then proceed to remove any signs of decay. Next, we’ll clean the tooth and apply the filling material to open the pores within the tooth. Finally, Dr. Icard or Strein will apply the composite material and bond it to the tooth using a light. After shaping and polishing, your tooth is as good as new.
Tooth-Colored vs Amalgam Fillings
Composite fillings, or white fillings, are simply more aesthetically appealing and last much longer.
Pros of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Natural-looking solution to cavities
- Less removal of the tooth than with metal fillings
- Can mix colors to find one that closely matches that of your tooth enamel
- Silver fillings expand over time and can weaken the teeth.
- Silver fillings are more susceptible to breaking due to cracks from expansion. Since broken teeth are very expensive to fix, composites can save expense over the long term.
- Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth and restore dental strength.
- Less sensitivity to hot and cold
Disadvantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Composite fillings tend to cost more than amalgam fillings, due the more intricate procedure
- Less longevity, through duration increases as technology improves
- Some insurance companies won’t cover the cost of a tooth-colored filling, as they view it as purely cosmetic
- Can stain with regular use of foods like coffee, tea, or wine
Like with all dental care, the better you look after your teeth, the healthier they will be. Cavities are a result of tooth decay caused by bacteria. Certain foods like carbs and sugar create an environment on which bacteria feed and thrive. Brush twice daily, floss every day, and be sure to come see us at Icard & Strein every six months.
Our Dentist in Harrisburg NC Appointment Scheduling Options
If you have any further questions about tooth-colored fillings or to check if your insurance plans covers them, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff at Icard & Strein. Call us today at 704.455.5003 to schedule an appointment or REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE to visit our dental office.