When it comes to keeping your smile strong, healthy, and beautiful, your dentist’s suggestions are an invaluable asset. For instance, even if you know about metal fillings and have accepted your need for one, you might not realize that there are even better options for restoring your tooth. In fact, dentists typically prefer to use tooth-colored fillings over metal ones due to their numerous esthetic and oral health benefits. In addition to blending in with your smile, tooth-colored fillings are also kinder and more beneficial to your natural tooth structure.
What’s the Difference?
The difference between tooth-colored fillings and metal ones lies in their materials. Metal fillings are crafted from a mixture of trace metals, including copper, zinc, silver, and mercury. By contrast, tooth-colored fillings are made from a more biocompatible substance called composite resin. The resin is a durable mixture of finely ground acrylic and quartz-like particles that can be custom-tined to match your tooth’s unique color, hue, and shade.
The Main Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
As their name suggests, tooth-colored fillings are most popular for their ability to blend in almost seamlessly with your tooth and smile. However, appearance is only one of their many benefits; others include;
- Longevity – Metal fillings are strong, but they often fail because metal can change shape when exposed to extreme temperatures (like hot coffee and frozen beverages). By contrast, resin retains its shape, and can therefore protect your tooth longer than most metal fillings.
- Safety – Because resin retains its shape, it’s a safer option for your rigid, unchanging tooth structure. Resin is also safer because it contains no traces of metal, making it a viable option even for patients with metal allergies or other unique medical concerns.
- Long–term oral health – By offering a longer-lasting solution to restore your tooth, a resin filling significantly reduces your risks of needing root canal therapy or tooth extraction later on.