Metal amalgam fillings are stable and safe, but they don’t look very nice in your smile. For a while now, many dentists have continued to use dark colored amalgam fillings, but this is not always necessary. Modern dental composite and dental porcelain can be used to make restorations as subtle as they are strong. With Knoxville dentist Dr. Ruth Bailey, your fillings and crowns can be crafted with tooth-colored materials to match the natural hue of your teeth.
If you have metal fillings or crowns in your back teeth, they may not show when you smile, but they certainly show when you laugh and sing. Not only do these restorations signal that your teeth have suffered some decay, but they also tend to be clear signs of aging. An all-white smile looks healthier and younger, and gives you the confidence to be yourself with your companions. Laugh, sing, smile—no one will be distracted by your dental work when your white restorations blend in with your smile.
What’s the Difference Between Metal and White Fillings?
Amalgam fillings are made of a mix of different metals and have been the standard material for fillings for decades. In the 1980s, advances in dental technology created composite resins, which could do the same job, but look more like natural tooth enamel. Since then, the materials have been improved upon continually. Composite fillings today are typically made of a resin-based matrix with silica, quartz or glass fillers. The composite is applied to the tooth and a special light is used to harden and bond the material to your tooth. Composite can also be polished to a natural looking sheen after the filling is complete.
Both amalgam and composite are excellent materials for filling the area where decay has destroyed tooth enamel—but there are some differences. Metal fillings may expand with age and cause cracking in the tooth; they tend to last about 12 years on average. Composite fillings tend to last closer to 8 years before needing replacement, as they tend to shrink with age.
Ultimately, white fillings may need to be replaced on a shorter timeline than metal amalgam fillings, but for most patients this is not a problem. As long as you see your dentist regularly, he or she will check the fillings at each exam to make sure they are still in good shape.
White Dental Crowns Repair and Protect Damaged Teeth
If you have a tooth that has broken or lost a great deal of enamel to decay, a natural looking dental crown can restore the beauty of your smile. Just like fillings, dental crowns were once made chiefly from metal, but today can be crafted from more high-tech materials. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns have been popular because they look more natural than metal-only crowns—but we’ve found that a crown made from a single block of dental ceramic (porcelain) tends to maintain its structural integrity better than a crown made from more than one material.
Not only will a tooth-colored crown look natural in your smile, it will also protect your damaged tooth from further decay or cracking. Needing restorative dentistry doesn’t mean you need to look like your teeth have had work done! Knoxville cosmetic dentist Dr. Ruth Bailey can make your teeth look beautiful and healthy again.
Contact Dr. Bailey Today!
If you have a problem tooth that may need a crown, or would like to replace your metal fillings with white composite fillings, call us at (865) 588-1294 or contact us online for an appointment. Many patients are amazed by how quickly and easily Dr. Bailey can replace their metal fillings in one easy appointment.