In their simplest form, cavities are essentially empty spaces. These gaps result from the erosion of tooth enamel due to decay or from dentists extracting infected portions to prevent further cavity progression. Dentists use fillings to fix cavities in your teeth. This strengthens the tooth and prevents it from getting weak because of cavities.
Dentists have been using silver amalgam fillings for a long time. These fillings are made from a mix of tin, silver, copper, and mercury to fill cavities. For a considerable duration, choosing amalgam fillings wasn’t genuinely a decision; it was essentially the only available option. Nowadays, you can choose how to fill your cavities. Instead of going for noticeable silver fillings, you can pick tooth-colored fillings made from composite materials. These blend seamlessly with the natural look of your teeth. Cosmetic issues aside, some people opt for white fillings near you over amalgam fillings out of safety-related concerns. The bottom line, though, is that you now have choices. To help determine what choice is most appropriate for you, take a look at this information about both options before asking a dentist in Kitchener what alternative they recommend.
Tooth-coloured composite fillings
The composite resin and plastic materials utilized for “white fillings” are not only employed for tooth restoration but also serve in making cosmetic enhancements to alter the color and shape of teeth. While composite materials can withstand moderate pressure, they’re not appropriate for fillings in teeth exposed to the highest biting pressures—your molars, for example. Composite fillings are most commonly and appropriately used in your front or “smile zone” teeth, where cosmetic concerns are highest and biting pressure is lowest.
- Composite or “white” fillings are associated with no health risks
- There are fewer reports of increased tooth sensitivity after getting fillings
- Composite fillings blend in with the colour, sheen, and texture of your natural teeth.
- White fillings in Kitchener are more expensive than silver fillings due to the materials used and the specialized training required of dentists.
- It takes a longer time for a dentist in Kitchener to provide composite fillings. Addressing a sizable cavity may necessitate several layers and appointments due to the extended time required for composite materials to dry and harden, contrasting with the quicker setting process of metal fillings.
- Cavities can be filled more quickly with silver fillings than with composite fillings
- Silver fillings are a cost-effective option when compared to composite filling.
- Silver fillings have been used for decades
- Silver fillings expand and contract due to their vulnerability to temperature changes. Those expansions and contractions can cause damage to a tooth
- When a dentist near you uses silver fillings instead of composite materials, more natural tooth tissue is removed.
- Silver fillings are not subtle, but rather obvious and unattractive, especially when used in highly visible areas of your jaw.
- Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which has been associated with health risks
- The older the silver fillings get, the more likely it is that they will discolour the surrounding enamel of the tooth by turning it dull and gray
The Canadian Dental Association characterizes amalgam fillings as “the most durable and most affordable of all restorative material options.” The Association states that, in most cases, being exposed to average levels of mercury from amalgam fillings doesn’t have harmful health effects. However, they advise caution for individuals with allergies to components of the amalgam or those allergic to certain chemical substances or foods like milk or bread, as amalgam fillings may not be suitable for them. Health Canada advises against amalgam fillings for individuals with impaired kidney function.
Whether amalgam and/or composite fillings are right for you depends on your medical history, personal circumstances, cosmetic priorities, budget, and the location and size of your cavities. To determine the most suitable option for your specific needs, it is recommended to thoroughly discuss these considerations and any health concerns with a dentist near you.