Cavities are the most widespread chronic disease among children and adults alike. In fact, we spoke yesterday about the Global Burden of Disease (2010) study that reported over 35% of the world’s population suffers from tooth decay. If you’re among them, and you’ve had your cavity treated, then there’s a good chance that it was done with a dental filling. Until relatively recently, dental fillings were conventionally made from a mixture (an amalgam) of silver, tin, copper, mercury, and other trace metals. At our Southlake dentist’s office, Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron prefers treating cavities with non-metal fillings made from white composite resin, which look and perform better than their amalgam predecessors.
What’s the Purpose of Dental Fillings?
How does one dental filling “work” better than another? The purpose of a dental filling is multi-faceted. When your tooth is infected with decay, bacteria eat away at its structure, creating holes called cavities that progressively grow larger. If a cavity is confined to the tooth’s dentin, or main structure, then Dr. Wright can remove the infected tissue, clean the cavity and replace it with a filling. Since your tooth can’t heal itself, the filling seals its interior to protect it from further infection. The material also fortifies the weakened tooth so it can absorb the pressures of biting and chewing.
Metal vs. Composite-Resin
As a combination of metals, amalgam fillings are highly durable, and can effectively withstand the pressure of your bite. By contrast, composite resin is a tooth-colored mixture of acrylic and glass-like particles that can be bonded to your tooth’s structure.
Though strong, metal is susceptible to its environment, changing shape with sudden or extreme changes in temperature. If a metal filling contracts in the cold, or expands in the heat, then it can damage your inflexible tooth or create spaces for bacteria to slip past and reach your tooth’s interior. By adhering to your tooth, composite resin provides a more successful seal against bacteria that could cause your tooth infection to return.
One of the more popular benefits of composite resin fillings is their appearance. Amalgam fillings are fairy conspicuous, and can shine metallically every time you speak and smile. True to their name, tooth-colored resin fillings are tinted to match the exact color and shade of your natural tooth structure, blending in with your smile rather than contrasting against it.
About Your Southlake Dentists:
As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.