Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings help dentist Dr. Wright treat cavities in their Urbana Dentistry patients. No one likes finding out they have a cavity or cavities, but new resin composite fillings, made from ceramic and plastic compounds, match the natural color of the teeth, so the cavity can be treated without leaving any visible signs, like old gold and silver fillings. Resin composite fillings are also chemically bonded to the natural tooth, giving the structure of the tooth extra support and strength.
Composite resin fillings can be used on cavities, as well as decayed, chipped, broken, or worn teeth. Since the resin matches the color and shade of the patient’s natural teeth, composite fillings are especially good for the front or any other visible teeth. Resin composite fillings are also good for patients who are allergic to the mercury in silver fillings and women who are or may become pregnant.
WHAT TO EXPECT
At Mack Wright DDS, patients have the option of getting a local anesthetic to numb the area being treated or one of our sedation dentistry techniques. Once the patient is comfortable, Dr. Wright will remove the decayed area of the tooth. Once the decay has been fully eliminated, the cavity will be cleaned to remove bacteria and any debris. The resin composite will then be applied to the cavity in layers, using a special light to harden one layer before the next is added. Once the cavity is filled, the dentist will remove any excess resin and polish the tooth for a smooth, natural-looking finish.
Since everyone’s teeth have a unique shade and coloring, the resin will be made to best match the patient’s natural teeth. Patients with dark or yellow teeth may consider including a whitening treatment during their other dental work for a renewed, younger-looking smile.
Tooth-colored composites are usually preferred for their natural appearance, but resin composite fillings have many other benefits: the composite filling strengthens the tooth after it is chemically bonded, resin composite can be used to treat a wide variety of other dental problems outside of cavities, and the composite fillings require less of the natural tooth structure to be removed.
A typical composite filler will last about 5 years, depending on the location of the filling and how much pressure the patient puts on it. It usually takes longer to complete a composite filling procedure and a silver (amalgam) or gold filling, but most patients consider the improved appearance worth the extra time.
REPLACE OLD FILLINGS?
All fillings, including metal fillings like gold and silver, will decay over time and need to be replaced. Many patients chose to replace their old fillings with resin composite fillings, so their cavities are not visible to everyone when they smile.
A filling is used to “fill” the space left in a tooth when a cavity is removed. Up until about 20 years ago, most fillings were silver amalgam fillings. These amalgam fillings contain mercury. At the time, mercury was thought to be safe. Now, however, we know that mercury is toxic, and has been linked to a host of neurological and gastrointestinal problems.
Today, dentists know to use porcelain and composite (synthetic) fillings. Porcelain fillings are non-toxic and metal- and mercury-free. Porcelain is a ceramic compound that resembles real teeth in both texture and color.
What are porcelain fillings?
Porcelain is a ceramic material very similar in structure to teeth. A porcelain filling is when porcelain is used to “fill” the space in a tooth left after a cavity is removed.
What are composite fillings?
Composite fillings are sometimes called synthetic porcelain fillings or white fillings, since they are the color of your teeth. Their cost tends to be about the same as silver (mercury) fillings.
What are silver amalgam fillings?
These are the types of fillings most people have, especially if their fillings are more than 20 years old. Silver amalgam fillings contain 50% mercury, and due to leakage, usually develop new decay underneath after about 10 years.
What is mercury?
Mercury is a very toxic substance, and exposure to mercury can cause a host of neurological and gastrointestinal problems.
Why was mercury ever used in dentistry?
Because the mercury was contained inside the filling, it was thought that no mercury would ever be able to enter the patient’s body and bloodstream. However, this is not the case. Over time, amalgam fillings tend to expand. This can crack the tooth and expose the body to mercury. Unfortunately, mercury is dangerous in even very minute amounts.
I have mercury fillings – am I in danger?
Potentially, you are. Obviously, not everyone who has mercury fillings is going to get sick, but the risk is still there. The only way to eliminate that risk is to have a trained biological dentist safely replace your amalgam fillings with a non-toxic alternative, such as porcelain fillings.
Are porcelain fillings more expensive?
They are, but they are guaranteed to be non-toxic, and most people find the extra cost to be worthwhile.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 937-652-4111.
Mack A Wright, DDS
1028 East Highway 36,
Urbana Ohio 43078
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