When you think of fillings, you probably associate them with cavities. But restorative fillings, also known as “bonding,” can also be used to repair chips and other minor aesthetic flaws.
Fillings have come a long way since the old metal amalgam fillings of the past. Today’s fillings have a number of improved features and benefits – and they are now designed to perfectly match the natural shade of your own teeth.
Chagrin Falls dentist Dr. Brian Hivick uses the latest materials and techniques to provide our patients with life-like restorations. He has taken numerous continuing education courses to learn about the newest materials and methods so that our patients who need fillings or bonding can enjoy results that are predictable, durable, and mimic how natural teeth should function.
What’s Different About Today’s Fillings?
Older fillings, known as metal, silver, or amalgam fillings, were made of a mixture of metals. While they effectively filled the hole in the tooth that was left after removing the decayed material, they had a number of flaws:
- They left the tooth with dark discolorations, especially when they were used to fill the cavity left following a root canal.
- Like any other metal, metal fillings expand and contract in response to changes in temperature. This can cause metal fillings to come loose or even to cause cracks in the tooth.
- Metal fillings required removal of healthy tooth structure in addition to the decayed material in order for them to fit properly.
- Metal fillings contain mercury. While studies conducted by the CDC and other agencies have never shown any adverse health effects that can be linked to amalgam fillings, many people still feel uncomfortable about having mercury in their own or their children’s mouths.
Today’s tooth-colored composite resin fillings address these concerns and provide you with an updated, state-of-the-art approach to filling cavities and making other minor repairs:
- Tooth-colored fillings can be blended and customized to perfectly match the shade of your teeth for a flawless smile.
- Composite resin fillings actually bond to the inside of your tooth to provide additional support and strength to your tooth.
- Less tooth structure needs to be removed to place a composite filling compared to metal fillings.
- Tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite resin – a mixture of plastic and porcelain.
Of course, even with the availability of new composite fillings, we would prefer to prevent cavities altogether. Most people are aware that skipping out on brushing and eating excess amounts of sugar can lead to cavities, but many are unaware of the real culprit of cavities – bacteria.
Millions of bacteria are present in our mouths, and for the most part, they are harmless. But these bacteria thrive on sugar, and when sugar or starchy foods are consumed, the bacteria can multiply rapidly. They mix with your saliva and the acids that they excrete to create plaque, a sticky film on your teeth. Regular brushing will remove this film to help keep your teeth healthy.
When you don’t brush regularly, however, the plaque can stay on your teeth, keeping the bacteria and the acid they produce in close contact with your enamel. The acids eat away at your enamel and can eventually cause part of the enamel and underlying tooth structure to become weak and collapse. This disease process is dental decay, and the hole that is created is a cavity.
To prevent cavities follow these simple steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily as directed by Dr. Hivick.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens your enamel.
- Visit our office regularly for examinations and professional cleanings.
Is it time for a check-up and cleaning? Call Chagrin Family Dental today!
My experience with Dr. Hivick has been excellent. I was new to the area and searching for a dentist who was thorough and practical. After doing some research about local ... Read more
When I came to Dr. Hivick with many large fillings and spaces between my teeth, we worked together to develop a plan to restore my entire mouth, and I was ... Read more