Tooth-Colored Fillings Questions
Why are tooth-colored fillings preferred over the old amalgam (silver) fillings?
There are many reasons why Dr. Peterson prefers to use tooth-colored fillings in their Park City, Utah cosmetic dental practice. Silver (mercury) fillings have been used for decades; however, recent and ongoing research shows that due to the expansive nature of this material, fractures and cracking of teeth often occurs. Teeth restored with old silver fillings do not reflect light, and, therefore, give the appearance of darkened, gray teeth. Additionally, the mercury in these fillings has been shown to have systemic effects on the immune system. We do not feel silver fillings are the safest and best choice anymore, and that is why we only use tooth-colored (white) fillings on our dentistry patients.
What are the tooth-colored fillings made of?
They are made of a light-cured resin that is reinforced with glass particles. The filling is initially a soft putty-like resin that gets hardened in the mouth with a curing light. There has been some concern about BPA in dental fillings. I wrote a blog about it for more information on BPA in dental materials if you are interested.
How will the tooth-colored fillings look in my mouth?
Tooth-colored filling material comes in a great number of colors (shades) and is matched to your individual tooth color. Typically, Dr Peterson layers a combination of shades to match the individuality of your front teeth. The materials used for front teeth have a high shine, and materials used for back teeth are designed for strength and durability. Both look great! You will be amazed at having fillings that are virtually undetectable.
How long do the white fillings last?
Tooth-colored fillings are harder and more durable than silver fillings, and a small filling could last your lifetime. The compression and bonding strength of resin materials has improved greatly over the years increasing their life span significantly.
Larger fillings may last many, many years. The factors that determine the longevity of the filling include the tooth, the size of the filling relative to the tooth, and how teeth are maintained and cleaned daily.
How will tooth-colored fillings feel in my mouth?
A new filling should feel natural, just like your own teeth. After the anesthesia has worn off and you can feel your teeth and bite again, you should not notice anything particularly different. Your filling should be smooth and comfortable.