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Older adults will remember when going to the dentist to fill teeth after taking out the decay meant the dentist put silver amalgam in your teeth. Today, cosmetic specialists like Brentwood Dental Spa in Los Angeles, California, use composite materials to restore teeth following decay removal.
Composite resins are tooth-colored and look more natural in the mouth. That is why you generally find them used in the front of the mouth; however, they are tough, fracture resistant and withstand the stress of chewing in the back molars, too.
Silver vs. Composite: Who Wins the Race?
Given the US preoccupation with bright, white smiles, it is no surprise that composite resin fillings are more popular than silver amalgam. Yet, there are still people who have silver amalgam restorations in certain sections of the country.
Composite resin restorations are durable. They last between 7 and 10 years. Their silver rival can last up to 20 years.
The white filling material is made of a compound containing ceramic and plastic. The composite does not expand and contract with temperature changes, so it is more adaptable. Composite resin fillings also bond directly to your tooth and makes the tooth stronger. These advantages make the composite resin filling the standard in dental offices today.
There is the issue of toxicity to consider when choosing the type of filling for your mouth. Silver amalgam contains silver, tin, copper, and 50% mercury. Silver fillings release low levels of mercury vapor which is a health risk for the brain and kidneys in some patients.
Composite resins do not contain mercury, so they do not create the same health risk. The American Dental Association’s position is that there is no evidence to support claims that the BPA chemical that may occur in some composite resin compounds is dangerous to patients’ health.
Choosing Composite Fillings
You and your dentist will decide which filling type is the best for you. The dentist will take into account cosmetic issues as well as where the filling will reside in your mouth. Restorations at the back of the mouth may not need composite resin for the cosmetic effect, and the dentist may decide that the grinding and chewing pressure will do better with the silver amalgam. The dentist will also take patient sensitivity to the ingredients in silver amalgam into account. The size of the cavity makes a difference, too. Composite resin fillings work best in small to mid-size cavities. Composite resin restorations are a little more expensive than silver amalgam but remain affordable, especially when compared to gold or porcelain restorations. Check your insurance coverage, too. Not all insurance companies cover composite resin restorations, especially on back teeth.
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Composite Resin Procedure: It’s a Multi-layered Thing
After your dentist removes all the decay from your tooth, the composite resin material will fill the hole in your tooth. This material calls for the dentist to lay the composite resin on the tooth in layers. The layers gradually build until they fill the hollowed out portion of the tooth. The dentist shapes the white filling and molds it to the contours of your tooth. Then, the dentist applies an ultraviolet light device to the composite resin to make it harden quickly. This part of the process is known as “photo-polymerization”. Photo-polymerization changes a liquid to a solid by causing small molecules to come together to form large molecules through the use of light. The dentist may further adjust the shape of the filling after it hardens to make sure it forms a comfortable bite in your mouth.
We’re Here For You: Make An Appointment Today
The Brentwood Dental Spa dentists are experts in the cosmetic dentistry field. We offer various restorative solutions for our dental issues. We invite you to contact us today to make an appointment. Our dedicated staff will evaluate your dental health and design a treatment plan tailored to your needs. We are happy to help you improve your dental health.
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