For most of the history of modern dentistry, the standard of care for cavities has been metal fillings—either a soft metal like gold, or an alloy called a dental amalgam, which contains tin, silver, mercury, and copper. Early on, the amount of mercury in amalgam fillings was frequently harmful, and while the amount has since been drastically reduced, there are still problems with its use. Fortunately, there are now better . Over the last thirty years, tooth-colored fillings made from composite resins have been developed and improved so that they are now long-lasting and durable enough to compete with amalgam fillings—and to surpass them in some areas. At Oak Park Dental, your cosmetic dentist in Madison, we use composite resin fillings to restore your smile’s function and beauty.
The advantages of composite resins include:
- Aesthetics – Unlike dark, obvious metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings live up to their name by blending in with the surrounding teeth.
- A stronger bond – The molecular structure of composite resins is designed to bond directly with the surface of your tooth, making it much more versatile than amalgams as it doesn’t rely on the shape of the filling to keep it in place.
- Preservation of the natural tooth – In the past, an extra portion of the tooth had to be removed to ensure that the metal filling would stay in place. Because of the bonding properties of composite resins, this is no longer necessary—meaning that you get to keep more of your healthy tooth structure.
- Ease of repair – Repairing a metal filling often requires full replacement, whereas with resins, additional resin can be added without removing the existing filling.
- Versatility – Because composite resins bond to the tooth surface, they can be used for more than just interior fillings. Dental bonding refers to the process of repairing, lengthening, and reshaping teeth using the same substance made for tooth-colored fillings.
- Reduction of mercury used – While the amount of mercury currently in dental fillings is not dangerous to the patient, it is hazardous for the environment and for the dentists who work with it. Eliminating mercury from the filling process helps protect both dentists and the community as a whole.
For cosmetic dentistry in Madison, there is no better option than Oak Park Dental. We are proud to offer tooth-colored fillings among our services. If you think you may need a filling, or have not had a regular dental visit lately, call our office to schedule your appointment, or request one online.