Every person likes to feel confident about their smile. Fortunately, modern cosmetic dentistry practices now include tooth-colored fillings that give patients a more natural look to their teeth, while still providing a strong durable restoration.
Tooth-colored fillings, sometimes referred to as composite fillings, allow a dentist to match the color of a patient's teeth, while still affording protection against further tooth damage caused by cavities. Composite fillings have other benefits as well:
- Made of a softer material, they allow dentists more flexibility in shaping the filling material to adapt to the body of various cavities.
- Composites can be bonded to tooth structure. They may actually strengthen the tooth.
- Composite fillings do not rely on a special cavity preparation to hold them in. Often much less tooth preparation is needed. That means less time working on your tooth!
- Composite fillings contain no mercury.
Composite fillings have actually been used in the field of dentistry for about 40 years and have proven themselves to be an effective method of combating tooth decay. For most people, composite fillings are a great tool to treat small to medium size cavities. For larger cavities, especially if the decay is between the teeth, Cerec ceramic onlays or newer, all porcelain crowns may be a better option.
Peter J. Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.