Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. The development of tooth-colored fillings has provided dentist and patients with a safer and more attractive alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
By precisely matching tooth-colored composite fillings with the natural color of your teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist is able to provide you with white fillings that are virtually invisible. The removal of old amalgam fillings can provide patients with white fillings that provide a more pleasing, silver-free smile.
Types of Dental Fillings
- Dental amalgam: Amalgam, also known as silver fillings, are the least expensive type of filling.
- Tooth-colored composite resin: Composite resin fillings are more pleasing to the eye but are more expensive than dental amalgam fillings.
- Glass ionomers: This type of filling is primarily used in fillings below the gum line and in small children; the cost is comparable to composite resin.
- Gold fillings: These fillings are well tolerated by sensitive patients and are resistant to corrosion, tarnishing, and wear and tear but are among the most expensive filling materials.
- Ceramic or porcelain: Ceramic and porcelain fillings most closely mimic natural tooth color and can be as expensive as gold fillings.
Tooth-colored Filling Benefits
When a new cavity needs filling, the vast majority of patients now choose tooth-colored composite fillings. White fillings are made of composite resin and serve to fill cavities just like silver amalgam fillings. However, white fillings are matched to the color of your teeth and are virtually invisible. Tooth-colored fillings have become more popular over the years. As the availability of white fillings has increased and the possible dangers associated with amalgam fillings have been publicized, more and more patients are having their cavities filled with beautifully white, tooth-colored fillings.
Dental Filling Side Effects
The dental fillings procedure is associated with few side effects and risks. Some patients may experience sensitivity to cold and hot foods, and pain when chewing for a few days after treatment.
Silver amalgam fillings contain about 50 percent mercury, a chemical that has been scientifically shown to be more toxic than lead, cadmium, or arsenic. The possibility of mercury leaking from amalgam fillings over time has prompted a movement toward mercury-free dentistry. The mercury in silver amalgam fillings is thought to leave the filling and enter the organs of the body in small amounts throughout life. Some medical practitioners believe this mercury is causing physical and psychological problems in patients. These include neurodegenerative diseases, birth defects, and mental disorders. The debate is ongoing but many patients are opting to remove their amalgam fillings in order to improve their appearance and ease their minds.
Removing and Replacing Old Metal Fillings
Many patients opt for the removal of their amalgam fillings. These patients want to enhance their cosmetic appearance by ridding their mouths of unsightly silver fillings and replacing them with tooth-colored composite fillings. This simple procedure is an easy way to make a big difference in your smile.
Dental Fillings Cost
The cost of dental fillings varies depending on the type of filling that is used and the extent of cleaning that is required. Visit our cost and financing page to learn cost estimates for fillings. In most cases, dental insurance will cover the cost of dental fillings. If a silver filling is chipped or cracked, dental insurance may pay for part of the cost of replacement.
Contact a Cosmetic Dentist
DocShop.com is a valuable resource for anyone requiring the services of an experienced medical or dental professional. If you need dental fillings and are seeking a dentist in whom you can have complete confidence, use DocShop today to locate a trusted dentist in your area.