While the healthiest teeth and the teeth that are easiest to care for are those that have never had cavities, been injured or had fillings placed, dental work is frequently a part of everyday life for many adults and children every year. A dental filling is often one of the first minimally invasive dental procedures that an individual undergoes, and it is a safe way to protect the integrity of the tooth in the future. If you are having pain and discomfort in your mouth or have been told that you need a dental filling to correct a current issue, you will want to know all about composite fillings vs amalgam fillings and the benefits of white fillings.
Reasons to Choose a Dental Filling
The most common reason to need a dental filling is to fill a hole left behind by decay. If you have cavities in one or more of your teeth, your dentist will drill away all decay and fill the holes left behind so that you do not end up with pain and sensitivity or future problems. However, a dental filling can also be used to repair a cracked or broken tooth following an accident.
The Composite Filling Procedure
It only takes one appointment to place a composite filling. First, Dr. Pipkin will numb the portion of the mouth to be treated. Next, she will drill away the decayed portion of the tooth in the case of a cavity or will roughen up the surface of the tooth to help the filling stick in the case of a fractured or chipped tooth. After cleaning the area, Dr. Pipkin places the filling, shaping it perfectly to the tooth’s natural shape and structure.
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Composite Fillings Vs Amalgam Fillings
The two most common dental fillings are made from composite resin and amalgam. Amalgam is a type of metal mainly composed of silver and mercury. Metal fillings of some type have been used for hundreds of years, and amalgam fillings have been used since the late 1800s. Despite the mercury in them, they are considered to be perfectly safe and can last up to 15 years. Some prefer amalgam fillings because they are more affordable than composite. However, they are very dark in color and can make people embarrassed to open their mouths wide.
On the other hand, composite fillings have only been around since the 1960s. However, they have a track record of success and have constantly been improved upon so that they now often last up to 10 years if they are cared for properly. They are highly favored by a majority of patients because they are expertly color-matched to one’s natural teeth so that they are practically invisible to the naked eye. In addition, because they adhere so well to the teeth, the dentist will not have to drill away as much of the natural tooth before placing the filling.
Choosing the Right Filling for Your Teeth
If we have recommended a filling for you, you may be wondering what filling material would be best for you. The majority of patients today choose composite white fillings because they preserve the beautiful look of their natural smiles, are simple to have placed and require less enamel to be drilled away. However, if you are not concerned about how your smile appears and are mainly worried about sticking to your budget, amalgam fillings are by far the more affordable choice.
Enjoy Natural-Looking Fillings at Hometown Dental
At Hometown Dental in Hesperia, California, we want you to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth. Using composite fillings when necessary is just one way that we can help you protect and maintain your oral health. Call us today to learn more about fillings or to schedule a cleaning and dental checkup.