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Metal vs. Tooth-colored Fillings

Dr. Degel Aug 30, 2011

Dental fillings are a common treatment used at dental care offices to fill cavities and ensure the strength of a tooth in the future. When you visit an Astoria, Queens cosmetic dentist here at Astoria Dental Group, we will ensure that you receive effective treatment that emphasizes improved dental health as well as enhanced aesthetics. Our goal is to ensure that you feel good about your smile and look good as well.

This may explain why we’re committed to using the latest techniques here at our Astoria cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice, which includes the use of digital x-rays, laser diagnostics, safe dental sedation, and even advanced oral surgery techniques. One thing that come patients may take for granted, however, is our use of tooth-colored fillings rather than white fillings. Let’s look at how they differ.

Metal Fillings

If you’re older, you probably have a few of these metal fillings in place. Metal fillings were made from a metal amalgam which was set in the cavity to help prevent further decay and to strengthen remaining tooth structure.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Nowadays, we use tooth-colored fillings. Both cosmetic dentists Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel agree that such fillings are superior to metal fillings. While the procedure and use of the fillings is essentially the same, the tooth-colored fillings are made from a ceramic material rather than metal. This ceramic material is quite sturdy so there’s no worry about damage to the filling with regular chewing.

Which kind is better and why?

There are a number of advantages to tooth-colored fillings over metal fillings. From an aesthetic point of view, the tooth-colored fillings are barely noticeable. They blend in seamlessly with the rest of a tooth, so there’s no need to worry about a mouth full of gray metal.

From a dental health standpoint, there are many reasons why tooth-colored fillings are better. Some metal fillings contained mercury, which is obviously a highly harmful and toxic substance that can lead to major health problems in the long run. In addition, metal fillings tend to expand and contract slightly in extremes of temperature, which means potential damage to a tooth’s structure over time.

In addition to the above, another important consideration is that less tooth structure is removed when preparing a tooth for a white filling than a metal filling, which means less trauma to a tooth. This can mean less potential dental health problems in the long run.

Severe Tooth Decay

For more severe tooth decay, dental fillings will not be the answer. Other options for dental restoration that may be better suited for severe tooth decay include inlays, onlays, and Astoria, Queens dental crowns. During a consultation, we’ll figure out how best to proceed in the improvement of your appearance and dental health. In extreme cases, we may combine various treatments in a full mouth reconstruction for complete restorative care.

Learn More from Skilled Dental Professionals

For more information about your many options for enhanced dental health, be sure to contact our Astoria cosmetic dentistry practice today.

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