March 15, 2016
The cavity you got 20 years ago is the gift that keeps on giving. Maybe “gift” isn’t the right word … or “giving” for that matter.
You’ve had an amalgam filling since the last time it was replaced, and now you are wondering if there might be a different option. You’d like your tooth to look like a tooth again.
If you live in or near Marrero, LA, you are in luck. Our dentist at Lapalco Family Dentist offers composite resin fillings.
The Problems With Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings look metallic for a good reason. They are made with a blend of metals. Silver, tin, copper, and mercury are the most likely materials that you have in your mouth.
When these fillings are new, they will do an excellent job of preventing tooth decay.
But any filling you receive will become worn down with time. Pieces of your filling may chip away. The filling may start to separate from your tooth.
If you keep the filling too long, it may even fall out completely.
Amalgam fillings also may lose their silvery shine even if they remain intact. Any metal can corrode, and when amalgam fillings corrode, they turn much darker.
Some patients may be concerned about the mercury in their fillings, too. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that the amount of mercury is not enough to cause long-term health problems, but some patients may prefer composite fillings just to be safe.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are made with resin. This is a blend of plastic and glass.
This combination of materials can be made to perfectly match the color of your teeth. This will make it much less obvious which of your teeth had a cavity.
And as composite materials have improved, they have become more durable. Many of today’s composite fillings can last as long as amalgam fillings.
Other Reasons To Get A Filling
Thus far, we have focused on tooth-colored composite fillings as a replacement option for amalgam fillings.
This is just one of the possible reason you may need a filling. Here are a few more:
◼︎ Tooth Decay
Have you ever had a cavity? If not, then keep up the good work. If so, don’t feel bad. More than 90 percent of adults in the United States will have at least one cavity during their lives.
If the decay is too severe, we may recommend a dental crown rather than a filling. Nevertheless, fillings are the most common way to restore a tooth with mild tooth decay.
You will receive a local anesthetic for your affected tooth before we begin. We will need to remove the tooth decay from your tooth and from your mouth.
Then, we can place the composite filling. After the filling hardens, you will be ready to go on with the rest of your day. Your tooth will look and function the same as it always did.
◼︎ Cracked Teeth
This may not be as common as tooth decay. A cracked tooth can be a minor problem or a major one. A major crack can run the length of your tooth, and the only solution may be to have it removed and replaced.
But even a minor crack can leave your tooth more vulnerable to tooth decay. In those cases, you may be able to prevent further problems by getting a filling to close the gap.
◼︎ Worn Down Teeth
Teeth can become worn down for a number of reasons. Eating hard or crunchy foods, even chewing on ice, can cause parts of a tooth to break away.
Biting your fingernails or using your teeth to open things are other ways your may be wearing down your teeth sooner than you should.
To restore your teeth, we can use our composite material to fill in the gaps and to rebuild the missing parts of your teeth.
Watch Your Mouth
The best way to know if you need a filling or if your existing fillings need to be replaced is to visit Lapalco Family Dental for routine cleanings and examinations.
Each time you visit us, we will take a close look at your mouth. We will notice if you are showing signs of tooth decay, and we will notice if your fillings appear to be wearing out, chipping, cracking, or coming loose.
Making routine trips to our dentist office in Marrero, LA, is an essential step for our patients who want to keep their mouths as healthy as possible.
To schedule your first visit with us or to make your next appointment, call 504-264-6461 or fill out our online form.