We here at Laguna View Family Dental can answer any and all of your questions when it comes to composite fillings. We have extensive knowledge of the differences between metal and composites and are more than willing to address any concerns you may have about an upcoming procedure you may need. These are incredibly common procedures, and we are experts in the field. See us if you have any specific questions, or reference the guide below for more information.
What Are Composite Fillings?
You may have heard of composite fillings referred to as tooth-colored fillings or white fillings. This is because they are made of composite resins. These can then be tinted to match their surroundings, i.e. the rest of your teeth, and can look nearly identical. It is difficult, if not impossible, for the eye to catch a difference between composite material and a natural tooth. These are the most natural looking fillings that you can get, contrasted of course by metal fillings.
Which Fillings Are Better?
Cosmetically, composite fillings allow for a natural and radiant smile. Since there is no difference in appearance between a natural tooth and composite resin, the restoration is nearly invisible. Metal fillings have a strong potential to be dangerous to patients, as they contain mercury. Mercury is non-radioactive, yet very poisonous and can lead to chronic mercury poisoning if you have metal fillings. It can get worse if you have multiple fillings that are highly stimulated in day to day activities. Metal fillings also darken with age, and composites do not. Metal fillings are not laid into the tooth layer by layer while composites are, which means composites have a much stronger bond with surrounding tooth matter than their metal counterparts.
Are Fillings Always Used to Treat Damage?
Not always. In more shallow circumstances, fillings are often used. As the damage gets further and further from the surface, however, different techniques must be used. These techniques can involve root canals, inlays, and on-lays. Root canals are usually saved as a last resort, however, such as when drilling would harm the integrity of the tooth, or when the decay has killed or is killing your tooth in a way that is not salvageable and damage is beyond repair via filling.
What Procedure Is Undertaken During a Filling?
When getting a filling, the first step is always to numb. We don't want you to feel any discomfort during the process and will numb the tooth and surrounding teeth to eliminate pain. Then, we use specified tools designed for this purpose. These tools strip away the damage and decay, leaving a clean tooth surface for the filling to bond properly, for long lasting results. We clean before and after we place the composite in the tooth. When the composite is placed, we mold it to withstand your bite force and to fit comfortably in your mouth along with your other teeth. This is another difference between composites and metal, as they have to be applied in various ways for their bond to be as strong as possible.