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St. Charles Family Dentistry, Ltd.

 516 E. Main Street
 St. Charles, IL 60174
 (630) 377-3131   
 
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Posts for: May, 2018

By St. Charles Family Dentistry
May 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth-colored fillings offer a more discreet option than silver amalgam fillings and provide a few surprising benefits. Our St. Charles, IL, fillingsdentists--Drs. Lynn, Edmund, and Dana Lipskis--can offer you fillings.

What are tooth-colored fillings?

For years, the only way to restore teeth damaged by cavities involved placing a mixture of silver, mercury, tin, and copper in the teeth. Although silver amalgams offered a durable restoration option, they were very noticeable. Today, tooth-colored fillings offer a much more subtle option. The fillings use composite resin, a flexible material comprised of powdered plastic and glass. Composite resin is tinted to match common tooth shades, ensuring that your new filling becomes practically invisible.

What are the advantages of the fillings?

Removing the decayed part of your tooth prevents decay from spreading but also weakens your tooth to some degree, depending on the size of the cavity. A band of healthy tooth structure is removed along with the decayed portion to ensure that no decay remains when a tooth is filled. When you have a tooth-colored filling, less healthy structure needs to be removed, which helps your tooth remain stronger. The natural bonding properties of composite resin also play a part in strengthening filled teeth.

Although silver amalgam fillings restore decayed teeth, they can also potentially damage them. Metal-based amalgam fillings constantly react to hot and cold temperatures in foods and beverages by expanding and contracting. Unfortunately, teeth filled with silver amalgam may eventually crack due to the stress of continual expansion and contraction. Once a tooth cracks, it must be covered with a crown to prevent a fracture. Tooth-colored fillings don't expand or contract no matter what you eat or drink and help you avoid cracks.

Because silver amalgam fillings are dark, they can cast a shadow on your tooth enamel, making your tooth look discolored. Discoloration may also occur if the filling material begins to leak into your enamel, a problem that tends to occur in old fillings. Choosing a filling that's the same color as your teeth prevents these issues from occurring.

Health concerns about mercury also make tooth-colored fillings a better option for St. Charles residents. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that silver amalgam fillings are safe if you're 6 or older, many people prefer to avoid the fillings.

Tooth-colored fillings are an excellent choice whether you have a new filling or want to replace an old silver amalgam filling. Call our St. Charles, IL, dentists--Drs. Lynn, Edmund and Dana Lipskis--at (630) 377-3131 to schedule your appointment.