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We all know how important it is to brush and floss our teeth and have a dentist perform regular dental cleanings; however, tooth decay can still happen.
It’s reported that 92 percent of adults between 20 and 64 have had cavities in their teeth at some point in their lives, and of these 92 percent, many of them have the visible evidence to prove it.
For over 100 years, the only way to treat cavities was for a dentist to remove the decayed portion of the tooth with the use of a drill or other specialized dental tool and then fill the hole of the tooth in with a metal-based filling, either dental amalgam or gold.
Beyond the fact that these metal-based fillings can be unsightly, standing out to others when you open your mouth to speak or chew and making you feel self-conscious in the process, there are some health concerns associated with these types of fillings.
Luckily, metal-free fillings are an option in place of metal-based ones. Metal-free fillings offer a variety of health and aesthetic benefits.
Material of Fillings
The material used to fill dental cavities (dental caries) is important for aesthetic and health purposes. Here is a breakdown of the different types of dental fillings available.
There are two types of metal-based fillings used today: amalgam and gold.
- Amalgam fillings: A dental filling that is made up of a mixture of metals, including liquid mercury and powdered silver, copper, tin, zinc, and other metals
- Gold fillings: A dental filling that is made up of an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals
- Composite fillings: A dental filling that is made up of acrylic and glass in a powdered form
- Porcelain fillings: A dental filling that is made up of compounded oxygen and silicon to create a non-crystalline glass
- Glass ionomer fillings: A dental filling that is made up of powdered glass
Health Dangers of Metal-Based Fillings
Besides the fact that metal-based fillings show visibly in your mouth, metal-based fillings can cause health risks, including:
- Allergic reaction to the metal
- Weakened tooth structure
- Bacterial infections over time
- Possible dangers of mercury poisoning
Health and Aesthetic Benefits of Metal-Free Fillings
Metal-free fillings are the better choice aesthetically because they are the same color as your tooth, making your teeth and smile look completely natural. This means that no one will be able to tell that you had a cavity or filling.
More importantly, though, is the fact that with metal-free fillings, you will be able to enjoy the health and practical benefits, such as the fact that composite fillings:
- Are less likely to crack over time, which means that you will not need to spend money or pain having them replaced
- Strengthen the tooth structure
- Help to prevent the presence of bacterial infection
The benefits of metal-free fillings, both health and aesthetic, are overwhelming.
If you have a cavity or cracked tooth, then make sure you are choosing the dental filling material that offers the best health benefits. Just because metal-based fillings have been around for a long time doesn’t mean they are the right choice anymore.
That’s why at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics, we only offer composite fillings.