“You have a cavity.”
If you’ve ever heard those words from a dentist, then you know how it makes you feel. While more than 90 percent of people will have tooth decay in their lives, it still makes you feel a little bad.
It’s also possible that you have a reminder of your previous cavity every day if you received an amalgam filling. Those fillings have a metallic appearance that makes them stand out in your mouth. They are like a signal to everyone you meet that you once had a cavity right there.
Denise DiBona, DDS, and her team don’t want your cavities to haunt you for the rest of your life. This is why we offer tooth-colored fillings for patients at our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ.
White Fillings Vs. Amalgam Fillings
If you have an amalgam filling, then you already know what they look like. They are shiny and metallic. Many have a silvery appearance, and there’s a good reason for that.
Amalgam fillings are about 50 percent mercury. The other half can be a combination of silver, tin, and copper. Those are all metals.
Your teeth, on the other hand, are not made of metal. The contrast between your metal fillings and your teeth makes them all the more noticeable.
Over time, amalgam fillings may start to change colors. Some even take on a dark, black tint, which can make it look like you have a cavity when really that’s what the filling is protecting against.
Our white fillings match the color of your teeth. They blend in with the rest of your smile so your teeth look natural. With a tooth-colored filling, the people you meet each day are unlikely to notice which of your teeth have been damaged by decay.
Why You May Need A Filling
We already mentioned that more than 90 percent of people in the United States will have at least one cavity during their lives. Fillings are intended to restore the shape of your tooth and protect it against tooth decay.
When a patient has a cavity, the first step is to remove the decay from the affected tooth. Once upon a time, dentists would use a drill to grind away the decay. If you are afraid of the drill, this can make filling a cavity a traumatic experience. You will be glad to know that we don’t use a drill to treat cavities in our practice.
Instead, we use air abrasion whenever possible. We use a tool that blows small particles at the tooth decay with a steady stream of air. This is a more painless method of removing the decay and preparing your tooth to receive a filling.
At this stage, our standard approach is to give our patients a tooth-colored filling. This fills in the space created by your cavity, and it seals that part of your tooth in a way that is more discreet than other fillings.
However, if you prefer an amalgam filling, we can give you one upon request.
Should You Replace Your Filling?
You may already be aware that fillings do not last forever. At some point, they will need to be replaced.
The question you may be asking is if you should replace your filling. Here are some things to consider.
If your concern is cosmetic, then you may want to replace your amalgam filling with a white filling. This is not necessary from a functional standpoint, but some people are self-conscious about the metal in their smiles.
The bigger concern is when your filling is no longer able to fulfill its job of protecting your tooth.
Any kind of filling will wear down with time. The foods that we eat and the things that we drink have an effect on the fillings in our mouths.
Fillings can become chipped or cracked, and some filling may start to separate from your teeth as they get older. When this happens, it may actually put your tooth at risk. If food particles or bacteria get into those openings, you will not be able to remove them with brushing and flossing.
If you notice that your fillings are starting to break down, it’s time to get them replaced as soon as you are able.
Save Your Teeth & Your Smile
If you have a new cavity or you need to replace an old filling, Denise DiBona, DDS, wants her patients to get treated without feeling self-conscious about their smiles.
Our tooth-colored fillings help to protect your teeth and preserve your natural smile at the same time. To make an appointment at our dentist office in Red Bank, NJ, call 732-945-5343 or fill out our online form.