If you’re looking at the potential of having to get or replace your tooth fillings, you’re definitely not alone. According to the most recent national survey on adult tooth loss, 91% of adults between the ages of 27 and 64 have cavities. Almost 30% of those adults have untreated tooth decay. And the cavity percentage rises to 96% of adults 65 and older. Modern dental materials are stronger than ever but while fillings are durable, they don’t last indefinitely. If you got your last new shiny amalgams in 1972, guess what? You’re in dire need of replacements. In fact, if your fillings are older than a decade or two, chances are they at least need to be checked for severe leaks and cracks. While you’re there, your Manhattan cosmetic dentist may strongly suggest upgrading to composite fillings. But what are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Aesthetically Appealing
If you’ve seen or spoken with anyone who’s had silver, or amalgam, fillings you’ve undoubtedly gotten a visual shock as soon as they opened their mouth. Tooth-colored fillings are matched to the patient’s existing and surrounding teeth. Composite resin is safe and effective for repairing and filling the damage left behind by dental caries without compromising the beauty of your natural smile.
They’re Strong and Durable
Composite dental materials aren’t as strong as metal, but they’re not meant to be. Porous materials like ceramic and resin mold, bend and adjust to each patient’s needs for a better fit and overall lifestyle solution. With the right care such as brushing, flossing, and maintaining proper dental visits, your tooth-colored fillings can last a decade or longer without the need for repair or replacement. You’ll also need to watch the bad habits, however, like grinding your teeth or chewing on pens, ice, or fingernails to avoid accidentally breaking or dislodging your new fillings. But your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can help you toss those bad habits once and for all.
Amalgams are poured into the damage teeth, forming an eventual seal as they set. However, metal is affected by temperature and can swell or shrink based on something as simple as beverage temperature. This can in turn cause already weakened enamel to crack or split further and lead to more tooth damage. Composite fillings, however, are molded to the teeth and fit carefully without those concerns. Less of the tooth needs to be removed and the materials bond instantly to the existing tooth so you have one less thing to worry about.
Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Mercury-Free
Mercury is one of the most toxic elements found in nature. The American Dental Association may flop back and forth regarding the dangers of amalgam fillings, but silver fillings contain around 50% mercury. Even in small doses, mercury is dangerous at best and potentially toxic vapors continuously emit once placed in the mouth. Those vapors can be absorbed through tissue, saliva, and the bloodstream and then cause potentially serious issues in the body. Composite fillings, however, are completely safe and mercury-free. So the last thing you’ll have to worry about is your dental work messing with the rest of your health. A single call to your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can get the ball rolling on a safer and smarter solution for filling those dental caries or replacing your amalgams.