Dental fillings are much improved from the silver nugget that you may have been given some years ago. And the good news is there are other options available – you can even change your silver fillings if you wish.
And don’t panic if you need a tooth filled. Dental fillings are a common procedure and many people have at least one! However, if you haven’t needed one for several years, you may be surprised at the options now available. Read on to see how fillings used to be, and what’s available today.
We don’t offer amalgam, or mercury, fillings at Dental Logic. These standard silver fillings are mostly made of silver, but they also contain up to 50% mercury, which is toxic even in small quantities. This is just one reason that we don’t use them here or at our practice in Perranporth.
Our ethos of no-drill dentistry means we do the best job we can with the minimal intervention. Part of the procedure for older style mercury feelings is to remove extra tooth matter. This creates a better position for the filling to sit in, but it does mean drilling is often involved.
If you have mercury fillings don’t be alarmed, there is no need for immediate change. But if you do want to have a less obvious appearance of your fillings, talk to us about replacing them with a more naturally coloured alternative.
An alternative composite is used more widely for dental fillings today. This requires less of the tooth matter around the cavity or other tissues to be removed. Furthermore, the composite is white and translucent, close in fact to natural tooth colour, so it has far less obvious in a smile.
The silica and plastic material in these types of dental fillings bonds well to teeth so it is especially secure. Composite fillings are more flexible for your dentist to work with than amalgam fillings so drilling is not always needed. Composites also have smoother margins (where the filling joins the tooth), which makes it more difficult for plaque to take hold.
Some dentists will offer other types of fillings, such as gold or other metals. The advantage of these materials is that they are strong and long-lasting.
Stay whiter for longer
Do you know about ceramics, or porcelain fillings? These look similar to composite resin but will stay whiter for longer. However ceramic fillings can be more abrasive. So, if the tooth is one the tongue regularly touches, this can be a distracting sensation. Another issue, of course, is that gold and porcelain are typically more expensive than composite or mercury fillings.
You may have only ever had mercury amalgam fillings, and you may have always thought that fillings equalled drilling and discomfort. But there are so many exciting changes happening, there is far more choice available. Talk to us about the different options for fillings at Dental Logic Truro. Or read more about porcelain veneers and crowns here.