Metal amalgam used to be the go-to solution for anyone who had a cavity that needed filling. Because nearly anyone can develop a cavity, that meant metal tooth fillings were one of the most frequently recommended restorative dental treatments. Today, however, increasingly more people are choosing to fill their cavities with materials that don’t include metal. At our Albuquerque, NM, dentist’s office, we offer custom-made, metal-free fillings that provide several important benefits besides their complete lack of metal.
Instead of amalgam, which contains traces of several different kinds of metals (including mercury), modern fillings are made from more biocompatible composite resin. The resin consists of finely ground acrylic and quartz-like particles, which gives it a nearly colorless appearance until it is tinted to match your tooth’s unique color and shade. Often referred to as tooth-colored fillings, their most noticeable benefit is that they can blend in discreetly with your healthy, natural teeth every time you smile. Unlike metal, which is always obvious against the backdrop of your teeth, composite resin fillings help you keep your cavity treatment discreet and unnoticeable.
While metal amalgam used to be highly popular, it often came with several concerns. For example, patients who are pregnant, young, old, allergic to metals, or have other serious health conditions may not be candidates for metal fillings. After being placed, metal can also change shape over time, making them a threat to your healthy tooth structure. By contrast, the composite resin is more biocompatible and friendly to your tooth structure. It retains its shape so that it doesn’t damage your tooth or leave it exposed to bacteria, and it doesn’t create excessive friction against your tooth structure when you bite and chew.
The way a tooth filling treats a cavity is by restoring the structure that was lost to tooth decay. After we’ve cleaned away the infected tooth structure and any lingering oral bacteria, the filling material can be placed to reinforce the tooth’s integrity and to protect its exposed section from being infected again. Tooth-colored composite resin fillings are able to achieve this more successfully than metal because they be bonded more securely to your tooth structure. This creates a tighter seal against oral bacteria and more reliable support for the compromised tooth structure.
Choosing to fill a cavity with metal-free composite resin offers several benefits for your oral health, your smile’s appearance, and much more. For more information, schedule a consultation with us by calling Snow Park Dental in Albuquerque, NM, today at (505) 596-4479.
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