Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Safe?
When you have mild dental cavities, the best possible treatment is dental fillings. The dentist removes the affected tooth and replaces it with a filling to restore its functioning. We have two types of fillings the composite and the metal fillings.
The metal/amalgam/ silver fillings have been used for a long time to cover the teeth. However, the growing concerns on the mercury content in these fillings make them not a suitable choice. What about the composite fillings? Are they safe?
What are the Composite Fillings Made of?
To understand the effectiveness of the composite or tooth-colored fillings, you need to know how they are made. The composite material is crafted from acrylic resin mixed with silica, powdered glass, or ceramic particles.
Combining these materials give the fillings a natural-looking color. These dental fillings are customized to fit the color of your teeth.
Are They Safe?
Some people have concerns about the BPA levels in the filings. Bisphenol A is a harmful compound believed to affect the nervous, immune, and thyroid function. However, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), the number of BPA levels in the fillings is negligible and may not cause harm.
What are the Benefits of Using Tooth-Colored Fillings?
The perks of using composite fillings outweigh the side effects. Some of the benefits include:
- Aesthetically pleasing
Because they are made of resin mixed with particles, the fillings have a natural-looking appearance. They create a seamless appearance when fixed by a licensed dentist.
- They preserve the teeth structure.
When the dental filling is fixed on the teeth, it bonds with the teeth. This means that your part of your natural teeth is not removed, as is the case with the metal fillings.
- Quick treatment time
The fixing of the tooth-colored filling is fast and painless. The dentist first numbs your gums and proceeds to fix the filings in a process that lasts for 30 minutes.
The composite fillings can be used to fix more than decay. The dentist can use them to repair worn out, broken, and chipped teeth.
How Are They Fixed?
Composite fillings are fixed in one dental visit, and the process involves a few steps:
- Teeth examination and preparation
Our dentist will assess your teeth and check the extent of decay to determine the amount of filling required. Next, your gums are numbed in preparation for the procedure.
- Removing the decayed part
The dentist will drill the tooth with a laser to remove the decayed part. He will test the area to check if all decay is removed before reshaping the tooth for the filling.
The dentist will clean the cavity to get rid of bacteria and debris. At times a glass ionomer is used to protect the nerves if the decay extends to the root.
- Application of the fillings
The composite fillings are applied in layers until the desired amount is obtained. Next, a special light is used to cure each layer as it is applied. The composite filling is then reshaped to the desired size and excess material trimmed off.
Finally, the dentist will polish the teeth for an appealing look.
What Other Fillings Are Available?
Other tooth-colored fillings are available:
- Ceramic fillings. These are mostly made of porcelain and are more durable than composite fillings. They are also stain-resistant and are less prone to cracking or chipping.
- Glass ionomers are crafted from acrylic and glass material. The fillings release fluoride that helps prevent decay. However, they are weaker, prone to fracture, and not as durable—lasting for five years.
What are The Disadvantages of Composite Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings have a few disadvantages:
- They are not as durable as the metal fillings
- The fixing time of the composite fillings takes longer than metal fillings
- At times the composite fillings may chip depending on where they are fixed.
- They are a bit expensive compared to the silver fillings.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Bay Premier Dentistry for more information on the dental fillings and the available types. Also, we’ll discuss our other restorative dentistry services that can help restore your oral health.