Reasons to Replace Metal Fillings With Tooth-Colored Fillings

By John Rink DDS on April 16, 2012

Many people who have metal fillings want to replace them with fillings made of composite materials that closely match the color of the teeth. Our experienced Charleston cosmetic dentist, John F. Rink, DDS, will carefully evaluate the condition of your teeth and fillings and advise you on the benefits of replacing your metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings. Dr. Rink is a skilled cosmetic dentist who has the experience and training to achieve the attractive results you want.

Reasons to Replace Metal Fillings

Patients choose to replace their old metal fillings with composite materials for a variety of reasons. The most common include:

  • Most patients want to replace metal fillings with tooth-colored dental fillings because metal fillings are more visible and unattractive in the mouth. Tooth-colored fillings can be tinted in a wide variety of shades to more easily blend in with the natural color of your teeth, making them less visible and giving a more attractive appearance to your smile.
  • Tooth pain, sensitivity, or other problems
  • The filling material has cracked or deteriorated
  • The cavity has widened around the metal filling, exposing the cavity
  • Concerns have been raised about whether mercury in dental amalgam is safe, though most research has concluded that these concerns are unfounded. Still, many patients are choosing to remove their silver fillings to avoid potential health risks.

Metal Fillings

Although tooth-colored fillings are the more popular choice at our practice, metal fillings do offer several benefits. Metal fillings are

  • Less expensive
  • Easier and quicker to place than composite materials
  • Offered by more dentists
  • Long lasting

However, metal fillings are associated with several disadvantages, including:

  • Their silver or gold color is visible and does not blend in with the natural tooth color
  • More of the natural tooth structure must be removed in order to accommodate the metal filling material
  • Metal fillings expand and contract with temperature changes, putting increased pressure on the teeth

Tooth Colored Fillings

The development of tooth-colored fillings represented a major advance in the cosmetic dental field. The durable composite material comes in a range of tooth-colored shades that can be carefully selected to blend in with patients' teeth. The most notable benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that the composite material looks so natural that others cannot tell that you have had any restorative dental work. Composite fillings are also considered to be a more conservative dental treatment; a smaller portion of the natural tooth is removed when patients have their cavity filled with composite rather than metal materials.

There are some disadvantages of tooth-colored fillings when compared to their metal counterparts. Tooth-colored fillings

  • Are more expensive
  • Take more time to place
  • Require the use of a more complicated technique

Contact our Charleston Cosmetic Dentistry Practice

The experts at our Charleston restorative dentistry practice are dedicated to helping our patients feel and look better. This may include removing metal fillings and replacing them with tooth-colored fillings. However, this decision must be made in consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist. If you are considering replacing your metal fillings, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation and learn about your options.

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