Over the years, dentists have been restoring teeth with a wide variety of dental materials. Among many, one of the most popular restorative material used is the resin composite or what is commonly known as “white fillings”. Even though all fillings materials are deemed safe and effective to use by the American Dental Association, more and more people have been opting for white fillings to have their cavities concealed and covered up. If firstname.lastname@example.org are one of the many interested in getting white fillings done to upgrade your smile, you may find the following data useful to eventually make a decision on the best possible dental restorative material for you.
What are white fillings?
As the Academy of General Dentistry has explained, white fillings or composite resins are a blend of plastics (synthetic resin) and small glass particles that are combined together with the help of a setting ingredient. These composite resins are not only efficient in repairing cavities but can also be used to alter the color, shape, and size of a tooth.
Filling your teeth with composite resins undertakes a simple procedure usually consisting of a single appointment. With the help of shade guides, your dentist will first determine the color of the tooth to be fabricated or build back up. The resin is then color and texture-matched to perfectly fit your oral cavity and assimilate with your other teeth. This material is highly resistant to staining and is one of the best dental materials to use if you are conscious of aesthetic value.
What are the pros and cons of white fillings?
White fillings have been popularized due to its ease of blending with the rest of your teeth. However, that’s not all! White fillings present with a number of other benefits such as:
Invisibility: Composite resin is tooth-colored and perfectly blends in with your remaining healthy teeth. The color of the resin can be adjusted to accurately replicate the color of your teeth, making it look as natural as possible.
Easy adhesion: Resins like white fillings easily bond to the surface of your tooth. This elevates the ease of the procedure and helps your teeth look stunning and dazzling.
Preservation of tooth structure: White fillings are flexible in nature which means that they can adapt to any tooth structure with minimal consequences, thus reducing the need for drilling and tooth preparation and conserving maximum tooth substance.
As with any other dental material, white fillings also present with some drawbacks:
More frequent replacement: Resin composite fillings last anywhere from five to seven years. That is half the lifetime of an amalgam filling and will require frequent appointments to the dentist to replace.
Takes longer: The process of placing a resin composite is delicate and will require a certain amount of expertise. This increases chair time and the duration of the appointment at large as compared to other restoration alternative.
White fillings vs Amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings, often known as “silver fillings” are constructed with a mixture or alloy of metals namely mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Mercury makes up about 50% of the compound and helps bind the metals together to provide a strong and durable filling material. Amalgam fillings have been used for centuries and has been proven to have high tensile strength, making them long-lasting and economical for use. However, compared to white fillings, they may have some shortcomings.
They are very noticeable as they are not tooth-colored
The aesthetic component may be inferior to white fillings
Some people may also be sensitive to the metals in the amalgam
How to keep my white fillings healthy?
Composite fillings look their best when they are polished and in proper shape. Some of your habits may be detrimental to the health of your white fillings so you will have to make sure that you follow a strict hygiene and care regimen to maintain your white fillings.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth gently
Flossing at least once a day is crucial to maintain proper oral hygiene
Limit sugary snacks and sodas to prevent tooth decay
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a full-mouth examination
Limit the consumption of coffee, tea, and other foods that can stain your fillings
White fillings can be a resourceful material to use on your cavities for restoration and preservation. If you are on the fence about which dental filling to get, consult your dentist to help determine the best possible tooth filling for you. Although white fillings can impeccably fit into the crevices of your front teeth, they may not have enough strength to work as fillings in rear teeth where masticatory forces are the strongest. Your dentist will be able to guide you to anoint the best tooth filling for your mouth!