Ah, dental school. Just the thought of those very difficult four years is enough to make most dentists shudder. A good amount of that time was learning to place silver-mercury (amalgam) fillings. We carefully prepared the tooth to prevent the fillings from falling out. Then we packed the amalgam in the preparation, carved it to look like a tooth and finally polished it. I became quite accomplished at these procedures and was way too proud of my little art projects. In fact, in the first year of my practice, an orthodontist in our town was so impressed by these sculptures that he referred many patients to me. Ok, so what happened? Along came a material called composite and a procedure called bonding (led by the Japanese way back then). Although the early composites needed multiple improvements, they have evolved to be highly reliable, beautiful, patient pleasing restorations which don’t crack teeth. An example of the changes that have occurred is curing light times have gone from a tooth cooking time of 60 seconds to just 10 seconds now.
The upshot of all this is that if you need a regular filling in our office, you will get a beautiful composite restoration that is comprised of the latest and greatest materials and techniques. Come see us and we’ll show you!
Benefits of White Fillings
- Tooth preservation: metal fillings are packed into a cavity, requiring a large amount of your natural tooth be drilled. White fillings are bonded to the tooth, sealing the cavity without the need for excessive enamel removal.
- Temperature resistance: metal fillings expand and contract with temperature fluctuations in your mouth, which can allow them to fall out, or chip, crack, or break a tooth. White fillings are not affected by temperature fluctuations and will remain solidly in place regardless of what you eat or drink.
- Superior protection: metal fillings fill, but do not seal a cavity, which may allow bacteria to seep underneath and cause tooth infection. White fillings, bonded to the tooth, prevent bacteria from entering the cavity.
- Nontoxic: metal fillings contain mercury. While there is some debate about how much mercury can leak into your system from fillings, there is no debate that mercury is a toxic substance linked to myriad health concerns. White fillings are made of a safe, nontoxic composite resin.