The Benefits of Composite Fillings

Traditionally, dentists have used what’s known as amalgam, or special metal alloys, to fill cavities. However, modern dental medicine has advanced to the point that Dr. Barry & Dr. Love can offer Columbus patients a much better option for filling holes caused by tooth decay: composite fillings. At Lifetime Dental Health, we would like to educate you on the benefits of tooth-colored, composite fillings, so please let this article serve as your personal fillings fact sheet.

The History of Fillings

Once upon a time, the choices for dental restoration materials were limited. Records dating back as far as 659 A.D. tell us that amalgams (mixtures of silver, mercury, tin, and/or copper) have been used widely for more than 1300 years. There have been a number of scientific disputes (referred to as the amalgam war) over the health concerns of using mercury, but the American Dental Association has always defended the safety of amalgam fillings. Until recently, amalgam fillings were favored because of their strength, resilience, and relative ease of preparation and placement. That being said, amalgams have three main drawbacks:

  • They are not aesthetically pleasing, may corrode, and can actually stain teeth
  • They require the removal of some healthy tooth structure
  • They expand and contract, which can cause teeth to crack

Composite Fillings

Modern dentistry offers a number of options for dental restorations. The most commonly used fillings are made of gold, amalgam, composite, or porcelain. Dr. Barry & Dr. Love prefer composite fillings because they are:

  • Strong
  • Tooth-colored
  • Can be placed in a single visit
  • Require very little removal of healthy tooth structure
  • Allow for easy identification of tooth decay nearby
  • Bond extremely well to enamel

Composite resin fillings are made from powdered glass and plastic resin, and placed directly on the tooth in thin layers, then shaped and polished. Dr. Barry & Dr. Love use a special curing light source to accelerate the bonding process. Composite fillings are generally more durable than porcelain, significantly less expensive than gold, and do not expand and contract like amalgam fillings. Columbus patients often prefer composite fillings because they look just like natural teeth.

If you have any questions about fillings or would like to visit Lifetime Dental Health for a consultation, please give us a call at 614-451-2234.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_restoration

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalgam_(dentistry)

http://dentistry.ucsf.edu/sites/dentistry.ucsf.edu/files/content/dental_materials_fact_sheet_2004.pdf

Dr. Barry is part of a Columbus tradition of dental comfort and care. His outstanding education and training forms the foundation which enables him to treat all of your dental needs with confidence and trust providing the best care possible. Dr. Barry received his BS from Ohio State University in 1976, he also received his DDS from Ohio State in 1980. He is continually educating himself and his staff on the newest dental techniques and approaches in order to provide you with cutting-edge, comfortable, personalized, and antiseptic dental care. Dr. Barry is educated in the following areas – Reconstructive Dentistry, TMJ, Cosmetic Dentistry, Lumineers, Invisalign, Endodontics, Botox, Juviderm, Pediatric Dentistry, Geriatric Dentistry.