Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
Today, dentists use tooth-colored composite fillings to fix cavities, ensuring that you still have an attractive smile.
Amalgam fillings are made from a variety of metals, including a silver or gold mixture. The metallic mixture often includes small amounts of mercury, and some experts believe that this is a dangerous metal to have inside your body.
When you have old amalgam fillings in your teeth, you may want to have the material replaced with color-matching composite fillings.
How You Get Cavities in Your Teeth
A cavity occurs in a tooth from decay that is often caused by poor daily dental hygiene.
If you fail to brush and floss your teeth frequently, then the food that you chew may remain between your teeth.
This food debris attracts bacteria that will lead to hardened plaque, which damages the enamel on your teeth.
Have Cavities Repaired Right Away
The best time to have a cavity repaired is when it is small, and if you visit our dental office every six months, we will find cavities in the earliest stages. It is much easier to use a composite filling in your tooth when it is a tiny cavity.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings are made from a mixture of glass and plastic. A composite filling has an average life span of approximately six years but can last longer with care.
Teeth Whitening Helps the Composite Material Match Correctly
An important aspect of having composite fillings inserted in a tooth is making sure that it matches the color of the tooth.
If you have yellow or stained teeth, then we may recommend having a whitening procedure first to make it easier to have matching composite fillings.
You can choose to have a whitening procedure in our office, or a we can create customized molds for whitening chemicals so that you can perform the process at home.
How the Composite Filling Is Applied
After administering a local anesthetic, your dentist will drill the area where the cavity is located to remove the bacteria before inserting a composite filling. After the composite material is placed in your tooth, follow your dentist’s advice such as not eating food for a certain amount of time.
Note: If you are fearful of dental procedures, ask us about nitrous oxide gas or sedation. Often one of these options makes all the difference in your visits to the dentist!