Do you have old metal fillings you’d like to upgrade? Have your old fillings turned black, making them look almost as bad as the cavities they filled? Are your teeth sensitive to heat and cold because of your fillings? If you want to get rid of unsightly and uncomfortable metal fillings, white or tooth-colored fillings can be used to replace them. Tooth-colored fillings are stronger, more attractive, more comfortable, and healthier than metal fillings.
At Beyond Exceptional Dentistry , we can evaluate your old fillings and recommend options for replacement. Please call our office in the Hilton Head area at (843) 706-2999 or email us today to schedule an appointment.
Problems with Metal Amalgam Fillings
Metal amalgam fillings were invented nearly two hundred years ago in the age of steam, and like many medical technologies of the day, we now have better materials and techniques. White or tooth-colored fillings can overcome the complaints people have about their metal fillings, including:
- They are unattractive
- They make your teeth sensitive
- They weaken teeth
- They can crack teeth
In addition, metal amalgam fillings contain mercury, which is known to be toxic. We also know that mercury migrates through the dental enamel, and can be liberated chemically in your mouth. We don’t know the full health impact of mercury fillings, but many people are concerned, and we believe it’s best not to use potentially toxic fillings and replace them to reduce potential risk.
The tooth on the left has the old, large style of filling. Once that filling is removed, notice how cracked and damaged the tooth is underneath.
Two Options for Tooth-Colored Fillings
The good news is that you have two options for white fillings or tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings are made of a plastic resin that has strengthening materials in it to improve durability. These begin as a paste, which can be mixed to improve color matching. The paste is spread into the filling and shaped to match the shape of your tooth. Then it is hardened using a special light catalyst.
Benefits of composite fillings include:
- Quick procedure–completed in one visit
- Less expensive
- Can be used for all cavities
Ceramic fillings are another tooth-colored white filling option, made of the same advanced ceramic material as porcelain veneers. These fillings are created at a lab from impressions of your teeth. They are also called inlays–which fit inside the raised portions of your teeth, called the cusps–and onlays–which go over one or more of the cusps.
Benefits of ceramic fillings include:
- Best color match–the most tooth-colored filling available
- Create the best seal for your teeth
- Have the luster of natural tooth enamel
- Are the strongest restorations for your chewing surfaces
- Longest-lasting restorations
- Can actually strengthen your teeth
During your consultation, we will talk to you about the benefits of your filling upgrade options so you can pick the white or tooth-colored filling that is best for you.
If you live in the Hilton Head, area and want to replace your old metal fillings, please call (843) 706-2999 or contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today to schedule an evaluation by Dr. Durham or Dr. Strickland.