Although their popularity has largely given way for improved, tooth-colored composite resin, metal fillings still hold a significant place in restorative dentistry. For instance, teeth that absorb the most pressure from your bite, like molars, might require a durable metal filling instead of a softer resin one. Still, many patients have amalgam in teeth that would benefit more from composite resin, and Dr. Loukas may recommend replacing metal with the tooth-colored material for improved function and aesthetics.
The most common reason people consider changing metal fillings is to improve their smile’s image. Though effective, metal can flash conspicuously when you smile or speak, which can detract from the rest of your smile’s pearly-white appearance. Resin can be specially tinted to match the color and shade of the natural tooth structure around it, then polished to shine like tooth enamel. As it blends in with your tooth, your white filling can effectively restore your smile without announcing its presence every time you open your mouth.
Metal Changes Shape
When metal gets hot, it can expand slightly. When it’s cold, metal contracts. If an amalgam filling changes shape while inside of your tooth, it can defeat the purpose of placing the restoration in the first place. A filling is designed to fill in a cavity, or hole, left by infectious tooth decay. After cleaning the tooth, Dr. Maria or Dr. Thanasi Loukas can place the filling to seal the tooth’s interior and reinforce its structural integrity. A shrunken filling will leave spaces between the metal and tooth, allowing bacteria to slip inside the tooth. If the filling expands, it can damage your inflexible tooth, causing it to crack or fracture.
Prevent Future Filling Failure
If your metal filling was placed years ago, it may be time to reevaluate the restoration to ensure it hasn’t failed, or that it isn’t at risk for imminent failure. If the filling fails and your tooth suffers more damage, it might not be salvageable again, and could require an extraction. Unlike metal, resin fillings can be bonded to your tooth’s structure, creating a longer-lasting seal to preserve your tooth’s health and integrity.
About Your Park Ridge Dentists:
We can rebuild your smile if it’s compromised by cosmetic issues, or by cavities, gum disease, or tooth loss, but preventing such issues with preventive dental care can help you avoid the need for complex treatment later. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.
Is it safe to remove a metal filling?
Some people worry about mercury exposure when removing metal fillings. Fortunately, we take every safety precaution when replacing amalgam fillings.