The biggest threat to your oral hygiene is tooth decay. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, at least 92 percent of adults have experienced some form of dental disease. And although cavities are often preventable — just brush twice daily with fluoride-containing products and floss once per day — the CDC says that one in four adults aged 20 to 64 currently has at least one cavity.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities are caused by bacteria that live on teeth. When food particles get stuck between teeth or under gum tissue, they provide a breeding ground for these bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth decay.
How Are Cavities Treated?
If you’ve ever been treated for a cavity, chances are you received a filling, a procedure that involves replacing the damaged enamel.
For many years, these fillings were made of metal amalgam, a mixture of mercury and other metals.
Are Metal Fillings Safe?
This has been a hot debate over the last few years. Mercury at high levels can be toxic, but for use in dentistry, the levels are so low that they have been deemed safe. Despite assurances of safety, many people have chosen to replace their mercury metal fillings with composite resin or porcelain for a variety of reasons.
Why Do People Replace Their Metal Fillings?
Metal fillings are prone to wear out faster than other types of restorations. This is because metal cannot bond with your tooth enamel as well as composite resin or porcelains do and have to be cemented into place. Over time, as you eat and chew, these fillings loosen.
Metal fillings also expand and contract, making it easier for bacteria to get into the space between your teeth and the filling.
Metal fillings are also less forgiving when it comes to chewing on hard foods like nuts and popcorn. If you bite down too hard on something, the filling may crack or break off.
This also puts you at risk of bacteria leaching below the surface of the restoration. When this happens, the bacteria can cause an infection called apical periodontitis. It’s important to note that if you experience any symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness or pus around the area where the filling was placed, you should see your dentist right away.
The main reason people choose to replace their silver fillings is that they want a more natural look and want to make their dental restorations undetectable when they smile.
They also prefer the feel of porcelain and composite resins when biting or chewing.
What Are Composite Resin Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are composite resins used to restore damaged areas of your teeth. They are usually made from plastic materials and are bonded to the tooth structure using special adhesives and a special light to cure the restoration.
They come in different shades and are available in both permanent and removable forms. These natural-looking fillings are durable, easy to clean and require little maintenance.
Composite resin fillings are popular because they look like natural tooth enamel, which means your dental restoration becomes part of your smile. This also means you will be able to smile with confidence, as your tooth-colored fillings are undetectable.
Composite dental fillings are also popular because, unlike metal amalgam fillings, the resin bonds with your tooth enamel. This means that bacteria cannot work its way underneath your filling, extending the life of your restoration and keeping your tooth healthy longer.
These fillings do not expand and contract like metal amalgam fillings. This makes them more resilient against damage caused by chewing and biting.
Updating Your Smile
Do you have silver metal fillings and want to update your smile for a more natural look? We can help. Many people choose to change their amalgam fillings as part of a smile makeover.
We can remove old composite fillings and replace them with new ones. You can even choose to add veneers to give your smile a boost. Porcelain veneers are an excellent option to correct:
- chipped, cracked, stained or misshapen teeth
- gaps between teeth
- crooked teeth
- unevenly spaced teeth
- overbite or underbite
- discolored teeth
We also offer dental implants to replace missing teeth. Dental implants provide a foundation for replacing lost teeth. They are designed to last a lifetime and can improve your overall oral health. They also look, feel and function like natural teeth, which makes them the most popular tooth-replacement option today.
We also offer tooth whitening to brighten your smile. Tooth whitening is one of the easiest ways to get a brighter smile without having to undergo major cosmetic procedures. Our professional team uses advanced techniques to safely lighten your teeth and create a whiter smile.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you achieve a beautiful smile, contact us today!