11/09/2012  |  
Posted in Fillings, tooth decay
Tooth-Colored Fillings: How Things Have Changed!

Once upon a time, when your dentist gave you a filling, you ended up with a silvery-gray spot of metal in the center of your tooth. But times have changed. Today, in many instances, you may have a choice: standard “silver” (dental amalgam) fillings, or nearly invisible tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin. Which should you choose?

Dental amalgam is a safe, time-tested and durable material. But it's quite visible, and it requires “undercutting” — the removal of some additional tooth material — to lock it securely into the tooth structure. Tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend (composite) of glass-like silica fillers and plastic resins, substances that mimic the translucency and wear-resistance of the natural teeth. Plus, they're capable of forming a durable attachment directly to the tooth's structure, without undercutting.

Since they bond right to the tooth, tooth-colored fillings preserve more of the tooth's structure that would be lost to undercuts. This results in a stronger tooth, and potentially a more durable restoration. It's no wonder that many dentists say we're moving toward a “post-amalgam” era. Learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth-Colored Fillings.”

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