Even if you maintain good oral hygiene, there’s a good chance you will need a dental filling at some point in your life. Studies have shown that close to 90 percent of people in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 64 have had at least one cavity repaired. By the time individuals reach the age of 65 or above, that number increases to 96 percent. While hearing that you have a cavity is generally not good news to receive from your dentist, a dental filling can be comfortably performed to improve your tooth in just one office visit. For the longest time, amalgam, a metal alloy, was the only option available to repair a cavity. However, many dental offices today offer composite resin as both a durable and aesthetically pleasing option.
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of metal-free fillings. Knoxville, TN dentist Dr. Jack Haney would be glad to meet with you if you are currently experiencing ongoing dental sensitivity or tooth pain – a common sign of a cavity. To request an appointment, contact us today online or call 865-693-6886.
Why Dental Fillings Are Important
Before discussing the pros of composite resin, it’s important to understand what a dental filling is and why it is needed to restore your smile. As plaque builds up and remains on the tooth’s surface, it will begin to erode the enamel, causing small holes known as cavities to develop. This can lead to dental sensitivity and ongoing tooth pain. If the cavity is left untreated, bacteria will spread and affect the underlying layers of the tooth, eventually causing more serious complications, and perhaps even tooth loss.
If a cavity is detected, the dentist will remove the unhealthy bacteria, thoroughly disinfect the tooth, and then fill the cavity with composite resin to reinforce the tooth’s structural integrity. A dental filling eliminates discomfort, restores dental function, and promotes better oral health.
Cons of Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made from a metal alloy mixture, such as silver, zinc, copper, and mercury. Although amalgam fillings are durable, they are easily seen, especially when laughing. Over time, the filling can also darken the enamel, giving your tooth a grayish appearance, only adding to its obviousness. Because metal can expand with changes in temperature, your teeth can crack when consuming hot and cold foods or beverages, causing greater damage. In more recent years, amalgam fillings have received a bad reputation due to the mercury contained in the alloy mixture. Mercury, when consumed in trace amounts, can have serious health disadvantages.
Pros of Metal-Free Fillings
Metal-free fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, are made from a combination of acrylic and ceramic. Each mixture is specially tinted to match the individual’s tooth to provide seamless results. Most people will be unaware you even have a dental filling unless you point it out. Each dental filling requires some enamel removal, but with metal-free fillings, there is less tooth preparation required, allowing you to maintain as much as of your natural tooth as possible.
Composite resin requires a specialized technique. When selecting your dentist, it’s important to choose one experienced in performing metal-free fillings who has an eye for detail so that you receive optimal results. If proper care is followed, you can enjoy your metal-free filling for up to 10 years before retreatment is necessary.
Contact Our Office Today
Dr. Jack Haney is an experienced cosmetic dentist who has a reputation for delivering stunning results. If you need a dental filling, please contact our Knoxville, TN practice today to learn more about metal-free fillings and how they can personally benefit you. You can request an appointment online or call us at 865-693-6886.