Most dentists have shifted away from amalgam fillings due to patient concerns. Old-fashioned amalgam fillings contained a mix of metals, including a small amount of mercury. Today, many patients prefer mercury-free fillings. In addition, amalgam fillings were very noticeable, and people who’d had a lot of dental work were often embarrassed to let other people see their teeth.
The new composite fillings don’t contain any metal. They’re a blend of minerals and a plastic resin that can take on the color of your other teeth. With tooth-colored fillings, no one needs to know that you’ve had cavities filled.
Tooth-colored fillings don’t require the removal of healthy tissue. The dentist can clean out the infection and place the filling in a single visit. They’re long lasting, natural-looking, and stand up to years of biting. In fact, the benefits of these fillings are so great that they’re becoming the standard treatment for small-to-medium-sized cavities.
To place a composite filling, the dentist must first remove the cavity, that is the damaged part of the tooth. He’ll clean the area thoroughly to remove bacteria. Then he etches the area with a weak acid to make it easier for the filling to bond with the tooth.
The area must stay clean and dry as the composite material is placed. First, he puts down the bonding agent, which connects the filling to the tooth. Then he adds the composite filling, cures it with a light, and shapes it to match the surrounding tooth.
Once you leave the office, you can resume your normal eating and tooth-brushing habits. If you look in the mirror, you may not even be able to tell where the filling was placed.
If you suspect you have cavities, or if you’d like to replace metal fillings with composite fillings, call Dr. Parris Kitt at 903-561-4477. Kitt Dental is your Flint, Texas dentist for tooth-colored fillings.