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White Tooth Fillings vs. Metal Amalgam Fillings

As you might have guessed by their name, white tooth fillings are an alternative to metal fillings that can blend in more discreetly with your tooth’s structure. However, their appearance isn’t the only reason why the experts at Sensitive Care prefer white tooth fillings over their more traditional metal counterparts. As a restorative treatment, the nature of a dental filling is to restore and protect a tooth that’s been afflicted with a cavity—the result of an infection caused by oral bacteria. If the filling fails, then bacteria can reinfect the tooth. Composite resin can create a more effective, and longer-lasting, protective seal than metal, reducing the risks of reinfection and further tooth damage.

The Nature of Metal Amalgam

In the late 1800s, metal amalgam (a mixture of tin, copper, silver, mercury, and other trace metals) became a popular choice for patients who couldn’t afford gold dental restorations. It performed so well against the pressures of biting and chewing, and could be applied with such relative simplicity, that amalgam has remained popular well into the 20th and 21st centuries. For many people, however, the mercury content is still a cause for concern, though the American Dental Association has deemed it safe except for patients who are pregnant, very young or elderly, or who have metal allergies.

The Composite Resin Difference

Another key drawback of metal amalgam, as far as your dental health is concerned, is that it can change shape with extreme temperatures, contracting in the cold and expanding in the heat. Your tooth, by contrast, is inflexible, and could break or remain exposed by the changing shape of the filling. Composite resin, a mixture of acrylic and glass-like particles, can not only be tinted to match your tooth’s appearance, but also bonded to the tooth, creating a durable seal against infectious bacteria that won’t harm your tooth or pull away and expose it to threats.

To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling (203) 878-6699. The specialists at Sensitive Care Cosmetic & Family Dentistry proudly serve patients and their families in Milford, Stratford, West Haven, New Haven, and all surrounding communities.

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