Tooth fillings are used when dental decay has created a cavity in your tooth. Left untreated, the cavity can shelter bacteria and trap food, causing the tooth to decay even more. Eventually, the cavity will pierce the inner chamber of the tooth, where the living portion of the tooth, called the pulp, is located. When bacteria infect the tooth, a root canal is required to treat it. Fillings are an early preventive treatment to avoid root canals. And these days they are attractive as well as functional.
A better option for fillings
Did you know that you have choices when it comes to tooth fillings? Amalgam, used in dentistry for over 100 years, is no longer the go-to material.
Today, composite and porcelain fillings are edging out dark, old amalgam.
Get bright, white tooth fillings to match your bright white teeth
Metal based amalgam fillings (also called, silver or mercury) can be harmful. When you chew, your teeth bend and flex. Trouble is, so does the amalgam. It flexes four times as much as your teeth do, resulting in gaps between your fillings and your teeth. This allows food and bacteria to leak in. The same thing happens when you drink hot or cold liquids. The metal fillings expand and contract four times more than your teeth do, resulting in the same gaps.
And no one disputes that mercury is toxic. Metal amalgam fillings are about 50% mercury by weight, and it doesn’t stay in the fillings. It moves throughout the body, concentrating in many organs, including your liver, and will even reach the fetus in pregnant women. Some say that mercury stays in the relatively inert neutral form it starts in, but chemical changes can cause it to become more toxic. Many people think it’s best to be cautious and avoid fillings that contain mercury.
Luckily, science has made great improvements to the materials dentists now use. Engineered to look and behave like natural teeth, white composite or porcelain fillings seal the teeth much more effectively than the old amalgam fillings did.
Healthier, safer and more attractive, it’s no wonder white dental fillings are the choice of our mercury-free dentist at Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos.
Make the dental filling choice that’s right for YOU
The two different white filling options can help you get the optimal treatment for your teeth. Dental fillings can be made of a composite that is made of a plastic filled with hard ceramic particles that give it strength. These fillings are inexpensive and easily placed in a single visit. They polish nicely to emulate the luster of your natural teeth. But they may not last as long as we want. They can lose their polish, may become discolored, and can wear out.
Ceramic fillings are more of an investment of time and money, but they can be worth it. They are the most attractive fillings available, and they are the longest-lasting. The only drawback is that they require two visits to place, one where your tooth is prepared and one where the filling is placed.
Whether composite or porcelain, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian of Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos has the training, experience and commitment to quality dental care to make sure you get the right dental filling for your unique needs. Don’t settle for metal fillings, email or call Top Down Dental at 408-354-5600 to see a bright white smile!