White fillings – aesthetic cavity repair available in Alliston, ON
Most people today don’t want to “advertise” that they have had cavities, with silver-colored fillings that stand out in their smile. White fillings from Dr. Oksana Vozna at Dominion Street Dental in Alliston, ON are an attractive alternative.
What are white fillings?
Since the 1800s, dental amalgam has been widely used to restore damaged teeth. It is called “amalgam” because it is an amalgamation, or mixture, of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and other metals. This malleable compound is pressed into the opening in a tooth where decay has been removed, to reinstate the shape of the tooth as well as chewing function.
Dr. Vozna does place amalgam fillings when indicated, but not frequently. While amalgam results in a strong, durable restoration, the silver appearance is unmistakable, even in a back molar.
White fillings are also called cosmetic fillings because, although the procedure is restorative, it also preserves natural smile aesthetics. The technical term for the material is “composite resin bonding.” It starts as a pliable plastic compound, shade-matched to your teeth. It is molded into and around the prepared area. Then, a curing light is applied to harden the resin and firmly adhere the filling to tooth structure. With a bit of final trimming, shaping, and polishing, cavity repairs are undetectable to anyone but a trained dental professional.
Composite resin is suitable for small to moderate sized cavity fillings – a larger area may require an inlay, onlay, or crown to adequately protect the tooth from further damage. Non-metal dental fillings are also a good choice to repair a chip, crack, or piece broken off a tooth, or to build up a tooth that is worn down. Please visit the Cosmetic Bonding page on this website to learn more about how the technique can also be used for smile enhancement.
Why tooth cavity filling material is important
While aesthetics is a big part of virtually any restorative dental procedure, it is not the only consideration. A filling must also provide worry-free function.
White composite fillings are very strong. A review of clinical studies published in 2012 indicated an annual failure rate for composite fillings of just one to three percent, and a three percent average failure rate for amalgam restorations. The most common cause of failure in a composite filling is not fracture (such as from bite pressure); it is secondary caries – a new cavity forming in the same area. Fortunately, this risk is easily controlled. With good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings, the longevity of a composite filling is comparable to amalgam.
Are metal-free dental fillings beneficial? They can be, in several ways:
- Conservative – Preparation for a white filling spares more natural tooth structure. Amalgam is packed into the hole in a tooth, relying on the shape of that opening to retain its position. Preparation for a dental crown requires even more reduction than for an amalgam filling. Since a composite filling is adhered to the tooth, minimal healthy natural structure is removed.
- Strengthening – The micro-mechanical, high-strength bond of a white filling fortifies the physical integrity of a tooth that has been compromised by decay or breakage.
- Low risk of complications – Metal expands and contracts at a different rate than tooth enamel and dentin. A large amalgam filling could strain the shell of tooth around it, eventually causing fractures and leading to more dental work. Composite responds to temperature more like tooth structure.
- Kind to opposing teeth – A very hard type of restoration material, such as ceramic or metal, may cause fractures or usual wear to the tooth in the opposite arch that bites against it. This can be a considerable problem for an individual who clenches or grinds teeth. Composite resin is similar in hardness to your own teeth, for a gentler fit.
What to expect when you get white fillings in Alliston, ON
While composite is not as impervious to stains as your own tooth enamel or dental ceramics, it will stay clean and bright with conscientious care. Dr. Vozna recommends using mild, non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft brush. Clean your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after every meal), and be sure to floss before going to bed. No special technique is required for teeth with white fillings. Mouth rinse helps to combat harmful bacterial populations that can lead to gum disease or further tooth decay, but be aware that alcohol-based mouth rinse may deteriorate white fillings.
Maintain regular checkups at Dominion Street Dental. Our trained hygiene team uses instruments and techniques that remove stains, bacteria, plaque, and tartar from teeth and restorations.
Why patients like cosmetic fillings
Composite resin bonded fillings are a popular choice at Dominion Street Dental. Here is a recap of some of the reasons:
- White filling cost is economical in comparison to a porcelain crown, inlay, or onlay
- These natural looking dental fillings are unnoticeable when you smile, speak, or laugh
- Treatment is comfortable. If you are nervous about numbing injections, ask Dr. Vozna about the option of laughing gas (nitrous oxide sedation)
- There is no waiting period after treatment; as soon as numbing wears off, you may eat normally
- A white filling procedure fits into your busy schedule – it is completed in one visit
- The non-toxic material is metal-free and contains no mercury
- If you should chip or crack a composite filling, it can usually be repaired without complete replacement
Dr. Vozna and her team work hard to help you enjoy a healthy smile, but if you ever do get cavities, isn’t it good to know that you have the choice of white fillings? New patients are welcome at Dominion Street Dental in Alliston, ON. Call (705) 435-4124 today!