Unfortunately, cavities are a common occurrence for many people even with great brushing and flossing. Although good oral hygiene and diet can prevent cavities some people can still be prone to them. Our dental technology allows us to fill cavities with tooth-colored filling material that blends with your natural tooth color.
Amalgam fillings also referred to as silver or metal fillings have been used as a filling material for many decades. While they are reliable and long lasting they do have some downsides in that they have a black or silver appearance in your mouth. They can also permanently cause discoloration of the tooth. Even in the back of the mouth with a wide smile or laughing it can be easy to see an amalgam filling.
Some people with amalgam fillings are concerned with the mercury content in amalgam. Amalgam does contain about 50 % mercury which is considered a toxin. Although, there is a possibility that amalgam fillings may release a very small amount of mercury vapor over time multiple studies conducted over the years have proven that the mercury in amalgam does not pose any health risks.
Additionally the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Public Health Service both have reported there is no evidence to link health problems with the mercury in amalgam fillings.
Along with being free of mercury and having great aesthetic results there are additional advantages that make tooth colored composite fillings a great material for filling cavities. As amalgam fillings are made of metal they also behave as a metal. This means when they are exposed to heat and cold they can expand and contract. The fillings in your mouth can have slight shifts as you enjoy your hot coffee or your ice cream. Over time these very tiny movements can cause gaps between your tooth and filling or even can cause your filling to get loose and come out. Gaps around fillings allow bacteria to enter your tooth and lead to decay under the filling.
At your appointment with Drs Advani, Desai or Higgins, we will be able to check the condition of your existing amalgam fillings using a special hand instrument as well as with digital X Rays to see if they need to be replaced. If your filling is in good condition we will continue to monitor it however if we see any gaps, recurrent decay, fractures or looseness we will discuss your options for a healthier restoration with you.
In order to place a tooth-colored resin filling we will first remove the decayed portion of your tooth, then clean it with a special cleaner and fill the cavity in layers. Each layer will be light cured in small increments before the next layer is applied until the entire cavity is filled. Resin fillings bond to your tooth from the inside which can actually strengthen your tooth while providing a long lasting solution to your cavity.
Call our office today to schedule an examination and a cleaning. We will show you ways to prevent cavities from ever starting and discuss options for filling your cavities should you have any,