At Detroit Dentist, Dentures & Implants, we use tooth-colored, mercury-free dental fillings for our restorative dental treatments. Our composite fillings are crafted from white materials that perfectly match your natural tooth enamel.
The use of white fillings not only enhances the appearance of your smile, but also ensures the maintenance of your oral health. We can incorporate our fillings with other services such as bonding, veneers, and porcelain crowns to provide a complete rehabilitative solution. By restoring your teeth with our fillings, you will have a stronger, more attractive smile that radiates good health.
What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are materials used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, cavities, or fractures. The filling material is placed into the prepared cavity or hole in the tooth to restore the shape, function, and integrity of the tooth. Dental fillings can also be used to repair cracked, broken, or worn teeth, and to replace old or unsightly fillings. The most common types of dental fillings are composite resin, amalgam, gold, and porcelain. The choice of filling material depends on factors such as the size and location of the cavity, the patient’s oral health, aesthetic preferences, and cost.
There are several types of dental fillings that Dr. Baqai may use depending on the individual needs of each patient. These include:
Amalgam fillings: These are also known as silver fillings and are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They are strong and durable, but their metallic appearance may make them less desirable for some patients.
- Advantages: Strong and durable, can last for many years, and are typically less expensive than composite fillings.
- Disadvantages: Can be visible when smiling or laughing, may require more removal of tooth structure than composite fillings, and may expand or contract in response to temperature changes in the mouth, potentially leading to cracking or damage to the tooth.
Composite fillings: These are tooth-colored fillings that are made from a mixture of glass or quartz filler and a resin bonding material. They blend in with the natural color of the tooth and are ideal for front teeth or other visible areas.
- Advantages: Can be custom matched to the color of your natural teeth, can bond to the tooth to help support its structure, can be used to treat both small and large cavities, and typically require less removal of tooth structure than amalgam fillings.
- Disadvantages: May not be as durable as amalgam fillings, can be more expensive, and may require more time and skill to place.
Ceramic fillings: These are made from porcelain and are also tooth-colored. They are strong and durable, but may be more expensive than other types of fillings.
- Advantages: Can be custom matched to the color of your natural teeth, are strong and durable, and do not expand or contract in response to temperature changes.
- Disadvantages: Can be more expensive than other filling materials, may require more time and skill to place, and may not be suitable for all types of cavities.
Gold fillings: These are made from a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals. They are very durable and long-lasting, but their metallic appearance may make them less desirable for some patients.
- Advantages: Are very durable and can last for many years, do not corrode and can withstand strong biting forces, and can be more suitable for larger cavities.
- Disadvantages: Can be more expensive than other filling materials, can be visible when smiling or laughing, and require more tooth structure removal than other types of fillings.
Dr. Baqai can help you choose the best option for your specific needs.
Restoring Teeth Minimally with Composite Fillings
Unlike traditional metal fillings, composite fillings can bond directly to your tooth enamel without requiring a wedge-shaped cut to hold them in place. This allows the dentist to remove only the decayed part of the tooth, preserving the healthy structures of the tooth.
Composite Fillings Strengthen Tooth Enamel
Composite fillings contain a molecular compound that gradually releases fluoride for several years after placement. This strengthens the surrounding tooth structure, making it more resistant to further decay and reducing the likelihood of recurrent cavities.
Restoring Teeth in Unconventional Areas with Composite Fillings:
Unlike traditional fillings, which require durable tooth enamel to hold them in place, composite fillings bond directly with the tooth. This eliminates the need for excessive tooth preparation and allows the fillings to be placed in non-traditional areas, such as smooth surfaces on the front teeth. The aesthetic features of composite fillings also make it possible to restore the front teeth with a small filling, rather than needing a porcelain crown to replace a metal filling.
Removal of Amalgam Fillings with Composite Fillings
At our dental practice, we frequently have patients seeking to replace their unsightly metal fillings with composite fillings. Over time, amalgam fillings can leak, leading to a dark grey or bluish tint in the tooth enamel or even a permanent discoloration of the gums. By removing the amalgam fillings, we can improve the appearance of your smile and eliminate any remaining mercury in your mouth. After the silver filling is removed, a composite filling is placed in its place, and any stained enamel is prepared to ensure no remaining discoloration around the new filling.
How To Tell if You Have a Cavity
If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, you might notice one or more of these early warning signs:
- A rough or sharp edge on your tooth
- Pain or tenderness when you bite or chew
- Sudden sensitivity or pain when you consume certain foods or drinks
- Food getting stuck between your teeth during meals
- Unpleasant taste or odor coming from a specific area of your mouth
- A sense that something is off or uncomfortable in your mouth
However, not all cavities are easy to spot. Some can develop without causing any noticeable symptoms until they become more advanced. That’s why regular dental check-ups are important for most people. During a routine exam, your dentist can check your teeth for signs of decay, including using x-rays to see inside the tooth and under the enamel. The earlier a cavity is detected, the easier and less invasive it is to treat.