Metal vs. Tooth-colored Fillings

By Steven Kail on July 06, 2012

Metal vs. Tooth-colored FillingsCavities are a common dental problem that many people face. For decades, dentists have been effectively addressing cavities and minor tooth decay by using dental fillings. In recent years, dental professionals have been moving away from the use of metal restorations, opting instead for ceramic, tooth-colored dental restorations. When you meet with a Bells cosmetic dentist, we can determine if tooth-colored dental restorations are best for addressing your dental problem.

For the time being, we'd like to briefly look at how tooth-colored restorations stack up against metal fillings. We think you'll see why ceramic restorations are the clear choice for the future.

About Dental Fillings

First things, first, let's briefly define what a dental filling is. Dental fillings are restorations that are used to replace damaged tooth structure that has been decayed. By placing a dental filling, the tooth decay is effectively halted and the integrity of a tooth is restored. We can determine if dental fillings are best for your needs during your visit to our cosmetic dentistry practice serving Bells, Brownsville, and Jackson.

Disadvantages of Metal Fillings

Metal fillings were the standard for dental restorations in the past, but there are many disadvantages of using metal dental fillings. Most obviously there is the aesthetic issue. Metal dental fillings are unsightly. Since they are dark gray, they starkly contrast with the natural color of a patient's teeth. Yet, the aesthetic issues are the least of worries to patients.

Some metal fillings had trace amount of mercury in them, which is a highly toxic substance. In addition, major changes in temperature can affect metal fillings. Very warm temperatures can cause expansion of the metal fillings, and very cool temperatures can lead to shrinking of a metal filling. While the amount of expansion and shrinkage is small, over time it can cause cracks to appear in the tooth, leading to compromised tooth strength and damaged tooth structure.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Since tooth-colored fillings are the same color as a patient's natural tooth structure, they are hard to spot when they are in place. Even on close inspection, it will be hard to tell that a patient has a tooth-colored filling in place.

Another reason that they are ideal for general dental care needs is that there are no harmful substances in ceramic dental fillings. They will also not warp in different temperatures like metal fillings can.

Other Options for Dental Restoration

For major tooth damage and tooth decay, a dental filling will not be able to provide the level of restoration required. In such cases, different kinds of dental restorations must be considered. Inlays, onlays, and Bells dental crowns are all possible options to consider. We will work our hardest to ensure that as little tooth structure is removed as possible when placing a dental restoration of any kind. These inlays, onlays, and dental crowns also come in ceramic, tooth-colored form.

Learn More About Your Dental Care Options

If you would like to learn more about your many options for effective dental care, be sure to contact our Bells, Brownsville, and Jackson cosmetic dentistry offices today. The entire dental care team looks forward to your visit and discussing all of your options for effective care in greater detail.

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