Just Say No to Metal Mouth
You may remember a day in the not-so-distant past when the only we could fill cavities and stop tooth decay was using metal fillings. Not only were metal fillings an unsightly eyesore every time you opened your mouth, but the use of trace amounts of mercury can be toxic to the human body. Many patients have experienced chronic health problems and toxicity caused by mercury fillings. Thankfully, today we can fill cavities using a safe, durable, and effective tooth-colored resin that blends in seamlessly with your natural teeth.
Tooth Decay 101
Before we go into all the wonderful benefits of tooth-colored fillings, we feel it’s important to give you a quick lesson on tooth decay so you understand how to protect yourself and keep your smile clean, healthy, and decay and filling-free.
- Tooth decay (dental caries) is the most common chronic disease among children in America (although it affects adults, too) and can not only cause oral health problems, but can cause pain and discomfort, as well as developmental and learning problems, and contribute to disease elsewhere in the body.
- Tooth decay happens when food particles and bacteria are allowed to remain on the teeth. The saliva in your mouth quickly breaks it down into the acid that causes decay. The best way to prevent decay is to brush and floss regularly, and after meals when possible. Rinsing with water is a great alternative when brushing is not an option.
- Some substances are more prone to decay than others. Sugar and carbohydrates are the most prone to decay, so it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and try and avoid sugar as best you can (we’re human, too, so at the very least make sure to rinse with water and brush your teeth after enjoying that sugary snack or soda).
Tooth-colored vs. metal fillings
It’s a dental showdown between the traditions of the past (metal) and the advancements in modern dentistry (tooth colored fillings).
In This Corner We Have…Metal Fillings
- Unsightly reminder of dental work every time you open your mouth
- Temperature changes can cause cracks and breaks that allow bacteria to enter
And In This Corner We Have…Tooth Colored Fillings
- Blend in seamlessly with natural teeth
- More stable with temperature changes for a more durable, longer-lasting filling
- Tooth-colored resin is harmless and safe for the human body
And the winner is…Tooth Colored Fillings of course!
Give Us a Call!
If you’re ready to step into the world of modern dentistry and fill cavities and stop tooth decay without metal, you’re in luck! If you have any questions about tooth-colored fillings or would like to schedule an appointment with your dentist, give us a call today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do tooth-colored fillings last?
Your tooth-colored filling can last from 10 to 12 years with proper care. Once they eventually wear down, we’ll simply replace the restoration. The best way to ensure the longevity of your filling is to practice good oral hygiene practices like brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
Scheduling regular check-ups at either our Oelwein or West Union offices is a great way to make sure your fillings are in good condition as well.
Is the procedure painful?
The process of placing a tooth-colored filling is completely painless. Before the procedure, one of our expert dentists will administer a local anesthetic to the affected area to ensure you don’t feel a thing! We’ll make sure to be in communication with you during the entirety of the procedure, making sure you’re comfortable.
Afterward, you may feel some slight discomfort in the tooth but only for a short period of time once the anesthesia wears off. If you feel any pain after the procedure, call our Oelwein office at (319) 283-4222 or our West Union office at (563) 422-6292.
Can I replace my metal filling with a composite one?
Yes! In the majority of cases, it’s entirely possible to switch a silver or metal filling with a tooth-colored one made of composite resin. This restoration would provide a seamless blend with your smile made from a safer material.