Metal amalgam fillings have been used for many decades to fill areas of a tooth once the decayed and damaged portion has been removed. But the mixture of metals in these fillings contain mercury, which has been shown to be toxic. Although the mercury content is subtle and considered safe for use in fillings, many people prefer not to have any exposure to mercury, especially considering fillings can degrade and break down over time. Plus, metal amalgam fillings turn dark over time, becoming much more visible, and the seal they form with the tooth surface can enable decay-causing pathogens to “seep under” the restoration, increasing the risk of further decay. Tooth-colored fillings are made of resins and contain no metals. They blend with the natural tooth, so they’re virtually invisible, and they also create a very tight seal with the natural tooth material to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth in the area of the restoration.
Yes, many patients decide to have their old metal fillings replaced with tooth-colored resin fillings for both aesthetic and health reasons. If the structure of the tooth is badly compromised by decay or trauma, a crown might be a better option for preserving the tooth.
Application of a tooth-colored filling is similar to the application of a metal amalgam filling. It begins with removal of the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth, followed by a careful cleaning of the area. Then, the tooth-colored resin is mixed to match the tint of the surrounding tooth material, and the resin is “flowed on” to the tooth surface layer by layer. The filling is expertly shaped to conform to the natural contours of the tooth before being cured or hardened by a special light.
First, not every toothache is caused by a cavity, and that means not every tooth that aches will need to have a filling. However, any tooth pain can be an indication of some underlying problems, including decay, disease, trauma, or infection. Even if the pain subsides, it’s crucial to call Family Dental Care of Stamford and schedule an evaluation to determine the cause of pain. Ignoring a toothache - even one that appears to have resolved - can allow an underlying problem to become much worse.
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