What is your smile worth to you? We don’t expect you to have a specific answer, but it is something to think about.
Your smile is a big part of who you are. Surveys have shown that it is one of the things that people remember most after meeting someone for the first time.
Why do our smiles matter so much? Well, they do reveal a lot about us. Our teeth give an indication of our health. This makes the condition of our teeth important to many people.
Our smile (or lack thereof) also indicates if we are friendly and approachable. Surveys have also shown that people with nice smiles are considered more trustworthy, which can come in handy in personal and professional settings.
If you had a cavity — and most people have — it can distort an otherwise great smile. At Forever Young Dentistry in Sterling Heights, MI, we want your smile to look its best. This is why we offer tooth-colored fillings in our practice.
Just because you had a cavity doesn’t mean everyone you meet needs to know about it.
Types Of Fillings
You are probably aware of dental fillings whether or you’ve ever had a cavity.
The process starts by removing the decay from your tooth. This also prepares your tooth to receive the filling material.
The kind of filling you have may depend on when you had your cavity and what dentist you visited to get it. We want to discuss the kinds of fillings, and why we prefer white fillings in our practice.
◼︎ Gold Fillings
Before we consider the material, consider what fillings are supposed to do. They are meant to restore the shape and function of your tooth. They are also supposed to create a seal to protect your tooth from the bacteria that cause cavities.
A gold filling will accomplish that job. It’s also the most expensive way to do this.
And people will know that you have a gold filling, which also lets people know which of your teeth have had cavities.
◼︎ Amalgam Fillings
From a functional standpoint, this will do the same thing that a gold filling will do at a lower cost. Amalgam fillings are made with a blend of materials. About 50 percent is mercury and the other 50 percent may include one or more of the following: tin, silver, or copper.
As you might suspect, these fillings also have a metallic appearance. They can work well, but again they alert other people to the fact that you once had a cavity in any tooth with this kind of filling.
◼︎ Tooth-Colored Fillings
Finally, we get to what we consider the best option for our patients. White or tooth-colored fillings are made with a composite resin. After this resin is applied, it will do all the things that the other filling materials will do.
But white fillings go one step further by providing a cosmetic benefit as well. The resin blends in with your natural tooth, which effectively camouflages the location of your cavity.
To borrow a phrase, composite fillings allow you to have your cake and eat it, too. You can repair your tooth without looking like you’ve had anything done to your teeth.
Replacing Old Fillings
You may be wondering if you should replace your old fillings. We know some people become concerned about having mercury in their teeth.
The FDA and the ADA have maintained that amalgam fillings are safe, but we completely understand if you’d rather not take chances.
Other people may have gotten gold or amalgam fillings because that was their only option at the time. If you would like to replace them to give you a smile a cosmetic improvement, we can help you with that, too.
That said, the most important reason to replace your old fillings is because they will need to be replaced eventually. No fillings last forever.
They can become chipped, cracked, and worn down through daily use. Sometimes fillings will start to separate from your teeth as they get older, and they will fall out given enough time.
All the problems we just mentioned can expose your tooth to bacteria in places that can’t be clean with a toothbrush. That could lead to new cavities.
Whether you decide to replace your old filling for cosmetic reasons or practical ones, we can use our composite material to do the job.
Is It Time To Replace Your Fillings?
One of the reasons we want our patients to visit us for routine care is so we can examine their teeth. That includes checking on your fillings to see if they are in good shape or are ready to be replaced.
If you live in Sterling Heights, MI, or in a nearby community like Troy or Rochester Hills, Forever Young Dentistry wants to help you and your smile. Don’t let a cavity or a metallic filling make you feel self-conscious.