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Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Better Than Metal Ones?

October 20, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — newhavendental @ 5:37 pm
patient talking to dentist

If a tooth develops a cavity, the standard treatment is to fill in that cavity so it does not become bigger and lead to further problems down the road. In recent years, more and more dentists are offering tooth-colored fillings as opposed to traditional silver amalgam (metal) ones. That leads many patients to wonder, “Are tooth-colored fillings better than metal ones?” As you will discover in this blog post, each type of filling offers its own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

The most well-known benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that they are quite natural-looking; onlookers may never notice them because they are shade-matched to blend in with the surrounding dentition. Other advantages include:

  • Since the filling material bonds directly with the tooth, minimal tooth preparation is necessary.
  • The filling material does not expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which can reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
  • Tooth-colored fillings are less likely to cause dental sensitivity than metal ones.
  • These fillings are metal-free and mercury-free, a fact that makes them extremely biocompatible.

Disadvantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings have two notable disadvantages. One is that they are not invulnerable to stains. Just like natural teeth, they can become discolored over time due to exposure to coffee, tea, red wine, and other highly pigmented foods and beverages. They also do not respond to whitening products. The other disadvantage is that they are not quite as a strong as metal fillings. Thus, they may not perform as well on teeth that have to bear a lot of force during eating, such as the molars and premolars.

Advantages of Metal Fillings

Metal fillings are quite strong, which means they can stand up to a lot of chewing force day after day. They may also take less time to place than tooth-colored fillings and come with a lower price tag. Although metal fillings contain mercury, the American Dental Association remains confident that they do not pose any significant long-term health risks to most people.

Disadvantages of Metal Fillings

Disadvantages of metal fillings include:

  • They are very dark and noticeable. They can also cause permanent gray stains on the teeth.
  • They expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which can damage the surrounding dental structure.
  • They can increase dental sensitivity.
  • They require more tooth preparation than tooth-colored fillings.

Which Option Is Right for You?

Most dentists recommend tooth-colored fillings as the better option because they are so biocompatible, and most patients prefer them for their remarkable aesthetic qualities. Your dentist can further discuss each type of restoration with you so you can make the best decision for your unique circumstances.

About Our Practice

New Haven Dental Group has been serving families in our community for over 40 years. We have several general dentists and specialists on our team, each of whom is passionate about providing top-tier care to patients. We stay up-to-date with the latest advances in dentistry, which is why we proudly offer tooth-colored fillings. To learn more about our restorative services, contact any of our four conveniently located offices

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New Haven Dental Group is a 42 North Dental Care, PLLC practice and is owned and operated by dentists Dr. Samuel Shames, DDM. and Dr. Ronald Weissman, DDM. Gentle Dental is supported by 42 North Dental, LLC, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical administrative and business support services to the practice. 42 North Dental, LLC does not own or operate the dental practice or employ dentists to provide dental services. Find more information about 42 North Dental, LLC and the dental practices it supports at 42northdental.com.

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