Dental Tips Blog

Oct
9

Why Can’t I Get a Metal Filling Anymore?

Posted in Fillings

Dentists still learn how to place metal fillings in dental school, but you don’t see them used much these days. If you really wanted one, it could still be done.

But there are solid reasons why metal fillings are going out of date. Most of today’s dentists open up their practices right from the start offering only white composite dental fillings, so you’re bound to have a hard time finding metal ones. Here’s why:

White Fillings – Kind To Teeth

Metal fillings don’t create a very snug seal with the tooth. Thus, they require more of the tooth to be carved out so they can be anchored in place. White ones form a chemical bond with tooth enamel so they can afford to be more minimal in design.

While amalgam restorations are strong and long-lasting, they can sometimes be too strong for the tooth. The metal expands and contracts with temperature change at a rate faster than the tooth itself does, creating tiny cracks that allow bacteria to leak in. Conversely, composite fillings “give” similar to natural teeth.

For Future Reference

White composite fillings allow for a little more visibility on dental x-rays. A large metal restoration can block the view and is better at hiding sneaky cavities. If you develop new decay, you’ll be glad to catch it early on.

Err On The Safe Side And Go Mercury-Free

Tooth-colored dental fillings don’t contain any mercury. Granted, the traces in metal fillings are too small to worry about, but not having to deal with the substance anymore is healthier for patient and dentist, alike.

Are you keeping up with recent developments in dentistry? Contact your dentist for the latest.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

Nov
18

Dental Fillings 101

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are used to fill in the area on a tooth that has been removed due to a cavity. Dental fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth in cases of injury or from teeth being worn down. Dentists are specialists in the area of treating the teeth and can be trusted to fill your teeth with precision and care.

If you require a dental filling, you will have an appointment at the dentist office. Most often the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. (In some cases where the cavity is at the surface of a tooth, an anesthetic is not needed because the sensitive roots of the tooth will not be touched.) The dentist will then remove the decayed area of the tooth with a tool that is precise at cutting small amounts of enamel.

Once the decayed area is removed, your dentist will test the remaining area of the tooth to ensure that all of the decay has been removed. Once it has been determined that the decay is extracted, the dentist will clean the cavity thoroughly to remove all bacteria. Then the dentist will fill in the cavity with a specialized material that you and your dentist agreed on ahead of time.

It is essential to your oral health to have any cavities in your teeth filled by your dentist as quickly as possible. Because cavities are formed by decay, the teeth surrounding your tooth with the cavity can become infected by the decay. With good oral hygiene practices your filling should last you for years – if not your entire life.

Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental

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Sep
12

Types of Fillings

Posted in Fillings

When it comes to fillings, there are now more choices than ever. What you end up having in your mouth, however, may be based on a number of factors, including location of the cavity to be filled, your bite, your sensitivity to certain materials and cost.

Gold 

Gold has been used as a filler material for centuries, and is thought in some countries to be a sign of wealth. The gold used in fillings is usually an alloy of gold combined with another metal like copper. Gold is long lasting and it provides a hard biting surface. In the United States, it is now primarily used for crowns and bridges as other materials are more readily available and less expensive.

Amalgam 

Amalgam is made of mercury combined with other metals like copper and silver. It is still one of the most commonly used fillings for back teeth despite critics who say the mercury is a toxin. The Food and Drug Administration, the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association, however, have ruled it safe as a filling material.

Composite 

Made of resin and other materials, composite is a natural tooth color and therefore very desirable for those concerned with appearance. It is a hard material, but not as long lasting as metal. It also costs more.

Ionomers

These are made of acrylic and either glass powder or resin. They also have the cosmetic advantage of being tooth colored; however, they do not hold up well in the long run and tend to crack and chip easily. Ionomers are therefore used mainly for small fillings in non molar teeth.

If you are in need of a filling, discuss some of these options with your Alphareta dentist. He or she will be able to recommend what is best in your situation.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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