Silver amalgam fillings, once the only option to fill decayed teeth, have gradually been replaced with a more discreet filling material. Cosmetic fillings offer a much more natural appearance, yet are just as effective as the old amalgam fillings. Our Chesapeake, VA, dentist, Dr. Paul LeTellier at Chesapeake Family and Implant Dentistry, shares some information on the benefits of the fillings.
Tooth-colored cosmetic fillings don't draw unwanted attention to your smile
Cosmetic fillings use composite resin, a flexible material composed of plastic and powdered glass that can be tinted to match common tooth colors. Once your tooth is filled in our Chesapeake office, it's virtually impossible to spot the filling material when composite resin is used. Thanks to unobtrusive cosmetic fillings, only you and your dentist will ever know you had a cavity.
Cosmetic fillings help protect your teeth
Silver amalgam, like all metals, conduct heat. When the fillings are exposed to hot coffee or cold ice cream, they expand or contract. Although you'll never notice these changes, they can weaken your tooth over time and cause it to crack. Once the tooth is cracked, you'll need a crown to protect it and prevent it from breaking. Bacteria can also enter the tooth through the crack, causing cavities or infections if you don't receive a crown. Fortunately, cosmetic fillings don't cause cracks because they don't react to temperature changes in foods and beverages.
If you've ever removed a bad spot from an apple or banana, you probably also scooped out a small area of unmarked fruit along with the brown area. Fillings require the same type of approach. A small amount of healthy tooth structure must be removed along with the decayed area. Removing even a small portion of your tooth tends to weaken it to some degree, even though the removal is an absolutely necessary step.
When you have a cosmetic filling, a much smaller percentage of healthy structure is removed, which helps keep your tooth strong. Composite resin also acts as a natural tooth strengthener because it easily bonds to the surface of your teeth.
Protect and restore your smile with cosmetic fillings. If you need a filling or any other cosmetic dentistry treatment, call Chesapeake, VA, dentist, Dr. LeTellier at Chesapeake Family and Implant Dentistry, at (757) 436-0026 to schedule your appointment.