There are many benefits of the composite materials used by modern dentists to bond, repair teeth and fill cavities. One that patients particularly appreciate is that these materials match the color of natural teeth. Today, no one needs to emerge from the dentist’s office looking like a villain from a film noir, with dark metals scattered across a broadening smile.
It’s still possible to get a classic gold filling for a cavity, if you’d like to store the family fortune in a molar. But advanced technology has made a range of affordable and attractive options available, including composite resin, plastics and a glass-based variety known as glass ionomer.
The traditional amalgam filling comprised of mercury and metal is still available, as well. Although this material is no longer very popular with patients, it is sometimes recommended for cavities in remote areas of the mouth, such as the wisdom teeth and other molars.
These days, dentists probably spend more time removing amalgam fillings than applying them. Although a definite risk has never been quantified, many patients believe that these fillings may increase the likelihood of certain medical conditions. Removing an amalgam filling also removes this source of concern, providing peace of mind. The procedure involved in replacing an amalgam filling with a new, advanced composite is simple, quick and convenient.
There are other benefits to composite fillings, beyond their aesthetic appeal. Composites actually strengthen the tooth, while metals have the potential to damage a tooth or loosen as they naturally contract or expand in response to temperature changes. Placing a composite filling requires less drilling, allowing you to retain more of the tooth. And there also seems to be a benefit in reduction in tooth sensitivity when composites are used instead of amalgam fillings.
The process involved in filling a cavity with an advanced composite is routine and requires very little time. Using a special laser instrument, Dr. Añonuevo clears decay and prepares the surface for the tooth-colored filling. He places the composite material, sculpts it into a tightly-fitting cap and applies a curing light to harden the material.
Next, he precisely grinds the filling so that it is comfortable in your mouth and aligns perfectly with your bite. The final step, polishing, ensures the texture of the filling matches the smoothness of your natural enamel. The entire procedure takes about a half hour and is performed using local anesthetic that will quickly wear off after your appointment.
If you would like to discuss your specific dental needs with a respected, trustworthy dentist in Charlotte, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr. Añonuevo. Please call or email Inspire Dentistry of the Carolinas today to make your appointment.