Bacteria thrive on starches and sugars that are in many of the foods and beverages people consume. As bacteria build up on the teeth, they begin to damage healthy tooth enamel. Decay can create small holes in the outer layer of tooth enamel, which are more commonly known as cavities.
Dental fillings repair dental cavities to replace missing tooth structure and rebuild a layer of protection. Cavities are typically repaired using either a metal filling or a composite filling. At our dental practice in Denver, NC, Dr. Frank Avason prefers composite dental fillings for cavities. Composite fillings offer numerous benefits unique to this type of restorative dentistry treatment.
One of benefits of composite dental fillings that seems to appeal to our Charlotte patients the most is their discreet appearance. Silver fillings have a metallic appearance that makes them stand out against the natural teeth. Silver fillings can even show through the teeth and give them a gray hue.
But composite dental fillings are custom colored to closely match surrounding tooth enamel. Composite dental fillings blend in with the teeth and should hardly even be noticeable to the naked eye.
Many people assume that a metal filling will be stronger than a composite filling. However, when metal is exposed to hot and cold temperatures, it expands and contracts. This puts pressure on surrounding tooth enamel, and can eventually weaken the structure of the tooth. Composite fillings bond to the natural tooth structure and enhance its strength. In addition, composite fillings do not expand or contract, so they are a more stable restorative treatment.
When a dental cavity is treated, Dr. Avason removes tooth structure that has been damaged by decay. It is always his goal to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. Since metal fillings are known to expand, more tooth structure needs to be removed when placing a metal filling than when placing a composite filling. Dr. Avason prefers composite fillings because they allow for greater tooth conservation.
Heightened tooth sensitivity is always a possibility after a dental filling is placed, especially within the first few days of recovery. However, patients who receive composite fillings tend to complain of less sensitivity than those who receive metal fillings. Sensitivity is probably more of an issue with metal fillings because metal transfers hot and cold temperatures more quickly.
Enjoy a Modern Smile
Because of the many benefits they provide, composite dental fillings are quickly becoming the standard in cavity treatment. While this is great for patients with new cavities, it can make those individuals who have older metal fillings feel like their smile is out of date. Fortunately, old metal fillings can be replaced with composite fillings. Dr. Avason can remove old metal fillings and place composite fillings that make the smile look more modern and attractive.
Whether you have a cavity that requires treatment or an old metal filling that you’d like to replace, we can help. Send us a message at your earliest convenience to learn more about dental filling treatment with our doctors, Dr. Frank Avason, Dr. Alyssa Wolff, and Dr. Mason Pirtle, or call us in our office in Denver, NC at (704) 820-9797 to schedule an appointment.