According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey, almost all have experienced cavities and/or tooth decay at some point. And the most common solution today is white fillings, a.k.a. composite fillings. This popular dental filling material restores decayed or broken teeth and is a subtle and aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal counterparts like amalgam.
If you have cavities, your dentist may recommend white amalgam for its many benefits.
What are they? Let’s take a look.
Top 10 Benefits of White Fillings
Metal fillings like silver and gold amalgam were the most common dental filling for decades, but composite fillings are now the better alternative. Do you want to know why? Let’s look at their benefits.
What Is a Composite Resin Filling?
It’s a tooth-coloured mixture of plastic and glass that closely resembles the natural look and feel of teeth. It is applied in layers and hardened with a special curing light. The resin in the mixture bonds with the tooth’s surface to fill the cavity.
The benefits of white fillings include the fact that:
1) They Look Natural
White fillings give a natural appearance to teeth, unlike gold or silver ones which are easily identifiable and not pleasant to look at. The composite resin is prepared to match the colour of your existing teeth and blends with your natural enamel. This creates a seamless look and helps you regain your confidence with a beautiful smile you won’t be afraid to show off.
2) They’re Non-Toxic
The white filling combines non-toxic plastic and ceramic to create a safe alternative to its metal counterparts. Since metal fillings contain a mixture of metal alloys, including mercury, it can cause allergic reactions in those with metal allergies. Resin fillings have no adverse effect.
3) They’re Stable
Silver dental fillings require a significant amount of enamel to be removed which can weaken teeth and cause sensitivity. White fillings, on the other hand, can be put in with minimal enamel removal. This allows your existing teeth to maintain their structural integrity and strength as additional stability is provided by the filling to teeth weakened by decay.
4) They Don’t Take Long to Put In
Composite resin fillings harden quickly. Once the filling is applied to the enamel, a special light accelerates the hardening process and the bonding agent sticks to your tooth within a few seconds. At the end of your dental appointment you get natural-looking teeth.
6) They’re Durable
White fillings weren’t initially considered strong enough to withstand the pressures of grinding and chewing. However, with improved technology, the quality and performance of white fillings improved and they can now last for years. Besides being durable, they can be placed virtually anywhere in the mouth without fear of cracking.
7) They’re Resistant to Temperature Change
Because they’re made of metal, silver fillings expand or contract when exposed to, respectively, heat or cold. This can lead to weakening and cracking. Composite fillings, however, are resistant to temperature changes as their insulating properties protect them from hot and cold foods.
8) They’re Easily Repaired
Composite fillings can degrade because of accidental damage caused by excessive chewing or grinding but can be repaired. Book a dental appointment as soon as the filling falls out or is damaged and avoid eating or chewing to keep the affected area clean. Don’t wait long as doing so can cause tooth decay.
9) They Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
The resin in composite fillings reduces tooth sensitivity by insulating teeth from the hot and cold of the foods and drinks you consume, as mentioned. You may experience some mild tooth sensitivity immediately after the procedure.
10) They’re Versatile
White fillings are a versatile solution to many dental problems. Apart from restoring a decayed tooth, they’re a great way to repair teeth that are chipped, cracked, broken or worn down.
What to Do (and Not Do) After Getting White Fillings
To make the most of your composite filling, you need to know what you should (and shouldn’t) do after getting a dental filling. Here are a few tips.
- Take prescribed medicines to control tenderness.
- Contact your dentist if you experience persistent pressure sensitivity beyond a few days.
- Brush your teeth carefully and rinse gently on the day of the procedure.
- Avoid drinking hot beverages immediately after the procedure.
- Avoid chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
- Avoid food or beverages for at least one hour If you experience nausea.
Choosing white fillings to restore your decayed or broken teeth has many positives. From preserving your smile to protecting your tooth enamel, white fillings are a better choice than metal ones because of their durability and versatility. If you’re still unsure whether composite fillings are for you, contact us. We’ll be happy to explain your options, help you decide on a plan for your specific needs, and provide complete dental care services.