A Center For Family Dentistry

Types of Dental Fillings - White vs. Metal

April 3, 2013 — by Keith Kelley, DDS
Tags: Dental Fillings Tooth Decay Dental Crowns Inlays

Types of Dental FillingsWhen it comes to getting the healthiest and best-looking smile possible, it's important for the teeth to be strong and free from cavities. Even minor tooth decay can result in more serious dental health problems down the road. It's for that reason that many people come to our Troy cosmetic dentistry center to get basic dental health treatment. The team at our practice would like to take this opportunity to look at the basics of tooth decay and the various kinds of dental restorations that can be used to address it.

About Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth. This bacteria will feed on food particles on the teeth and create a damaging substance known as plaque, which eats away at the structure of the teeth. When this happens, the strength of the teeth is compromised and infections of the internal structures of the teeth become more likely. This can result in major tooth aches, root canal therapy, and tooth loss.

A dentist in Troy, MI will use dental restorations of all kinds to rebuild missing tooth structure so that patients can bite and chew as normal. Let's look at the different kinds of dental restorations that can be used to improve overall dental health.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are the most common kinds of restorations that dentists use for general dental care needs. They are a great option for basic cavities that need to be filled. Over the years, dental professionals have switched to using white/composite fillings to treat cavities rather than the metal fillings of the past.

Why white fillings rather than metal fillings?

There are the obvious cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry benefits of white fillings, of course, but there are also serious dental health issues with metal fillings that are not an issue with white fillings:

  • Metal fillings often contain harmful substances, such as mercury, which are highly toxic
  • Metal fillings can change in size in extreme temperatures, causing gradual damage to the tooth structure
  • Metal fillings require removal of more tooth structure to place than composite dental fillings

Inlays, Onlays, Dental Crowns, and Other Options

Sometimes tooth decay will be too severe to treat with a traditional dental filling. In these cases, there are more advanced dental restorations that may be used. Inlays and onlays are the next step up from dental fillings in terms of restoration. These are able to replace larger amounts of tooth structure, such as the biting surfaces of the teeth (the cusps).

For serious tooth decay, dental crowns can be used to cap a seriously injured tooth. These are aesthetic caps that help strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage. Dental crowns are also used t cap Troy dental implants for people who are missing teeth.

Determining the Best Treatment for You

During your visit to our practice, we will be sure to consider all options for improving your overall dental health. In general, the more conservative the treatment, the better it is for the patient since it allows the patient to retain more of their natural tooth structure.

Learn More About Dental Care Treatment

For more information about effective dental care treatments and how they can benefit you, be sure to contact our Troy, MI cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health.

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