Replacing Metal Fillings with White Fillings
By J. Brent Gorrell on December 16, 2011
One of the most common dental problems that people face is cavities. Cavities can really be a major dental health issue. If left untreated, they can severely affect the overall health and beauty of a smile. That’s why it’s important to visit our Palo Alto area cosmetic dentistry center regularly so cavities can be identified and addressed as soon as possible.
About Dental Caries/Cavities
Also known as dental caries, cavities are caused by the bacteria within the mouth. This bacteria feeds on the food particles and sugars that are left on the teeth or between the teeth. This mix of sugars, bacteria, and digested sugars results in plaque, a white substances that gradually eats away at the layers of tooth structure. This decay of the tooth structure can spread to other portions of the tooth causing severe dental problems.
Why Fillings are So Important
At your regular dental check-ups and cleanings, we’ll be sure to monitor the overall health of your teeth and do our best to catch cavities when they occur. (Prevention is always best, of course, so be sure to brush and floss regularly.) If you have any cavities, getting them filled will help remove the source of tooth decay and also restore the overall strength to the tooth. This ensures further damage will not befall the tooth with the cavity in the future.
White Fillings and Metal Fillings
In the past, metal fillings were the standard treatment for dental caries. These days, a skilled cosmetic dentist in Mountain View will likely side with composite fillings (aka white fillings or tooth-colored fillings). These types of dental fillings are superior to metal fillings for both cosmetic reasons and health reasons.
Aesthetics and Dental Fillings
The most obvious reason for replacement is that tooth-colored fillings look better than metal fillings. When in place, no one will notice that a tooth-colored filling is there. The same definitely cannot be said about metal fillings.
Dental Health and Dental Fillings
Apart from the smile makeover results, however, one must consider dental health matters. One important issue is retaining tooth structure. Placing a tooth-colored filling allows a patient to retain more of his or her natural tooth structure compared to placing a metal filling, which is better for dental health in the long run.
The composition of the metal filling also poses problems. For instance, metal fillings can change slightly in size with fluctuations of heat and cold. This can damage the structure of a tooth over time. In addition, metal fillings often contained mercury which, though in minute amounts, is a toxic and dangerous substance.
Should you get your metal fillings replaced?
Given both the aesthetic and health issues cited, there have been many patients who have replaced their metal fillings with Palo Alto composite fillings. Of course, this call will need to be made during a consultation rather than over the internet. During your visit, we will assess your overall dental health and determine if such a move is feasible given your needs.
Learn More About Dental Fillings and What They Mean to You
For more information about dental fillings and why you should consider getting metal fillings replaced, be sure to contact our Mountain View cosmetic dentistry center today.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.