Metal vs. Tooth-colored Fillings
By Stephen Rogers on August 14, 2012
At Greater Long Island Dental, we stress the importance of practicing good oral hygiene habits and scheduling bi-annual dental exams and cleanings. We realize that most patients will occasionally require dental treatments beyond regular cleanings. As bacteria and plaque build up, tooth decay begins. Almost everyone will develop a cavity at some point. When you have a cavity, our Long Island cosmetic dentists offer metal and tooth-colored fillings to treat the cavity. Our team can help you decide which filling will work best for you.
A dental filling, or dental restoration, is used to restore the function and integrity of a tooth after decay has occurred. When you receive a dental filling, our doctors will prepare your tooth for a filling by removing any tooth decay or damaged material. Next, a restorative material is applied to fill the cavity, seal off the tooth, and prevent further tooth decay. At our Long Island practice, we offer metal and tooth-colored dental fillings. Each type of filling has its own advantages and disadvantages to consider before making a decision regarding metal vs. tooth-colored fillings.
Consider the following advantages and disadvantages in regards to metal fillings:
- Metal fillings are less expensive and insurance usually covers a greater portion of or the entire cost of treatment.
- Silver amalgam fillings are durable and can last up to twice as long as composite fillings
- Metal fillings require the drilling and removal of more tooth material
- Silver amalgam fillings are more likely to crack or fracture
- Silver fillings can cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Metal fillings are silver so they do not blend in with your natural tooth color
- Silver fillings contain a small amount of mercury; although silver fillings have been found to be safe, the presence of mercury remains a cause of concern for some patients
Tooth-colored fillings offer the following advantages and disadvantages:
- Composite fillings will not cause sensitivity like amalgam fillings sometimes do
- Composite fillings strengthen your tooth to prevent fractures or breakage
- Composite fillings come in many shades of white so we can find one that blends in with your natural tooth color
- Composite fillings take more time to place and are, therefore, more costly
- Composite fillings will likely need to be replaced within 10 years
Alternatives to Dental Fillings
In some cases, tooth decay will be too severe to be treated with a dental filling. For our patients in Long Island, dental crowns may be necessary if there is not enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support a dental filling. Our dentists can examine your teeth and let you know if a dental crown may be a more appropriate treatment for your tooth decay.
Schedule an Appointment
Here at Greater Long Island Dental, we are dedicated to treating your teeth in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Schedule an appointment and let us help you achieve the beautiful smile that you desire.
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