Goodbye silver fillings, Hello white fillings
If you were born before the 80s and have had some dental fillings done, chances are these were done using metal amalgam fillings and not white fillings.
Your amalgam filling may look like a silver part of your tooth, and when it gets older it may turn discoloured to a darker blackish hue. For a lot of people, it can make them very self-conscious. It may be visible when you laugh or yawn or perhaps your silver filling is deteriorating and causing some discomfort.
Are you curious to know why amalgam was once the preferred filling material?
Dental amalgam fillings date back to the 1800s when a French dentist mixed a small amount of mercury with some melted silver coins to create a dental filling material.
It evolved from there and over time other metals (including lead – unbelievable right?) were incorporated to create a long-lasting, malleable material that was easy to place into teeth cavities. Dentists and inventors were determined to create a very long-lasting material that was easy to use and would pretty much last a lifetime. Amalgam fillings ticked a lot of those boxes.
Sounds awesome right? Except maybe not…
As we now know, mercury and lead are poisonous for the human body, and despite lots of evidence to support the safe use of modern amalgams, they are definitely no longer a preferred material for creating dental fillings. Plus, silver fillings are not very good looking things!
What happens to your tooth with a silver dental filling as time progresses?
In our dental practice, we often see teeth that have been filled with silver metal fillings for 20-30 years… or even longer! The recurring pattern we see is that a lot of these teeth suffer from cracks and symptoms due to the old filling design and materials used.
You use your teeth every day for your entire life, and you chew up to 100 times a day when you eat. Like most mechanical systems, your teeth and mouth need a stress breaker. A metal filling that was designed to last a lifetime, wedged into your tooth (not chemically bonded) can be detrimental because all the stress is then placed on the surrounding tooth structure.
Eventually, the tooth structure, together with the filling, will break.
Want to know what better dental filling alternative is available?
Here at Gisborne Family Dental, we rarely use metal amalgam materials for your dental fillings. Modern day fillings are made with tooth-coloured composite resin, which is medical grade plastic that is completely safe for your mouth.
Today’s white composite fillings adhere to your tooth structure to help provide strength. They also have a degree of flex that mimics your real tooth structure, and come in a variety of tooth coloured shades to restore the beauty of your natural tooth.
On top of all that, as you repeatedly use your teeth in daily life causing wear and tear, these white fillings do not place stress on your precious natural tooth structure, hence prolonging the lifespan of your teeth. This material has been tried and tested for the past few decades and continues to improve rapidly every day.
White dental fillings available in Gisborne
At Gisborne Family Dental, we only use highly advanced materials that are backed by years of scientific evidence to create the best outcome for you. Our dentists are skilled in restoring your teeth in a predictable, comfortable, and safe manner, so that you can continue eating your favourite foods and show off your beautiful smile. Book your next appointment today!