Tooth-colored fillings, or white fillings, restore a fractured or decayed tooth and appear very similar to the color and texture of your existing teeth. The most popular material used in tooth-colored fillings is composite resin in which a mixture of materials is used to create the final product. Not only is this a durable option, but it easily concealed so that your smile remains natural-looking.
When You Should Get Tooth-Colored Fillings
There are a variety of reasons that a person may benefit from tooth-colored fillings. The most popular reason is that the person is experiencing tooth decay and needs a filling or order to save the tooth and stop the spread of the decay. However, there are other reasons that a tooth-colored filling may be a great choice. Such reasons include:
Filling in gaps
Repairing chipped teeth
Making teeth straighter and even
No matter the reason, tooth-colored fillings are a quality choice that many dentists offer their patients both for long-lasting results and their aesthetic appeal.
Pros and Cons
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing tooth-colored fillings. Here, we will examine the pros and cons so that you may make the most informed decision about your smile.
Of course, one of the most apparent advantages of tooth-colored fillings is that it looks just like the rest of your teeth. It won’t be readily obvious that you’ve had any dental work done. You can easily use this type of filling for the front or back teeth without worrying about how it will impact your appearance.
Additionally, the bonding on the filling actually restores the tooth to 85-95% of its original strength. It is also beneficial that the filling hardens in a matter of seconds rather than days like some of the other filling options out there. Plus, if the filling is damaged, it is easily replaced.
While there are undoubtedly many advantages of tooth-colored fillings, there are a few cons that you should keep in mind. For instance, just like your regular teeth, consistent exposure to dark liquids will also stain the filling. This exposure may also degrade the filling over time. Unfortunately, tooth-colored fillings are generally less durable than the metal fillings, and can also be more expensive. Because tooth-colored fillings are typically viewed by insurance companies as a somewhat cosmetic procedure, there may be a surcharge added to your final bill.
Alternatives to Tooth-Colored Fillings
While tooth-colored fillings may be the ideal solution for some patients, they may simply not be an option for some people. The size, location, and severity of the damage on the teeth may play a role in which type of filling is best for you. Some alternatives include:
Gold Inlays: Gold inlays are durable, but typically cost more than white fillings. They also require two visits because of the tedious process of creating the inlays in a laboratory.
Dental Amalgam: Dental amalgams are the least expensive alternative, but are less durable than gold inlays. One of the biggest concerns about this option is that it uses 43-53% elemental mercury, which may pose some safety concerns.
Compomers: The composite of this type of filling is a little different than tooth-colored fillings, but can still offer an aesthetically appealing result. They aren’t as durable but release fluoride which may be ideal for certain areas of the mouth that are more prone to decay.
Silicate and Glass Ionomers: This may be an option for some patients, but should not be used on the back teeth because the material tends to be more brittle than other fillings.
Which Option is Right for You?
There are certainly many options to choose from when it comes to deciding which filling is right for you. However, this is a decision that is best made with your dentist. There are many variables that will come into play, including the type of damage, location of the teeth, as well as the patient’s financial situation. Your dentist will help you narrow down your options and make the right choice for your smile.
Why You Should Choose Lifetime Dental Health
At Lifetime Dental Health, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dentistry. Some patients will benefit from specific procedures or products simply because of the details surrounding their situation. We work diligently to provide each patient with a customized approach to dentistry that suits their financial situation, current needs, and desired goals. It is our privilege to work with you to achieve the best outcome for your dental needs.
Our warm and friendly staff is ready to answer your questions and provide quality information that will help you throughout your dental procedures. Please reach out to us today to learn more about the services that we offer. Schedule your appointment today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442. We look forward to working with you!