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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Materials Commonly Used in Dental Fillings

By Bruce Wilderman on October 30, 2014

Close up of a woman’s smile after being treated with tooth-colored dental fillingsAt Artistic Expressions Dentistry, the line between cosmetic and restorative dentistry is often blurred. This is because every treatment we offer, from simple dental fillings to full mouth reconstructions, is intended to optimize both the health and the beauty of the smile. To borrow a phrase from Frank Sinatra, health and beauty are to smiles what love and marriage are to human relationships: you can’t have one without the other.

At Artistic Expressions Dentistry in Philadelphia, dental filling materials of the past, including gold and silver amalgam, have been replaced with state-of-the-art composite resin and ceramic materials. This helps to ensure that your smile will look completely natural even as it functions and feels better than ever. During confidential, one-on-one consultations with patients, Dr. Bruce Wilderman explains the benefits of tooth-colored dental fillings and why they represent a superior choice to outdated metal fillings.

Metal vs. Tooth-colored Fillings

There was a time when having a dental filling was synonymous with having metal placed in one’s mouth. The price a person paid for tooth decay was a smile marked with conspicuous gold or silver restorations. Nevertheless, while these materials may not have been aesthetically pleasing, they were strong and resilient, and they were far preferable to leaving damaged teeth untreated. In other words, these old-fashioned fillings did the trick.

In the early days of tooth-colored fillings, many dentists and patients continued to prefer metal fillings because they offered greater durability and longevity. Fortunately, times have changed, and this is no longer true. The best tooth-colored fillings are just as hard-wearing as their metal counterparts, and they offer numerous unique advantages, including:

  • They are mercury free
  • Unlike metal fillings, they do not expand or contract with hot and cold temperatures (which can cause teeth to crack)
  • They blend seamlessly in with natural teeth
  • They are highly resistant to staining

Common Materials Used in Dental Fillings

As a patient, you continue to have many choices when it comes to the materials used in your dental fillings. Dr. Wilderman chooses to use tooth-colored fillings for the many advantages they offer; indeed, many patients with older metal fillings come to Dr. Wilderman to have them replaced with state-of-the-art tooth-colored fillings. Nevertheless, there are still dental practices that offer metal fillings for patients who are so inclined.

Common materials used in dental fillings include:

  • Porcelain: High-quality porcelain can be used in tooth-colored fillings as well as custom-crafted “indirect” fillings, also known as inlays and onlays.
  • Composite resin: Composite resin is a synthetic material made of plastic and glass. It can be colored to match the natural teeth with outstanding precision, and fillings made from composite resin can last for ten years or more.
  • Gold: Although strong and durable, it is also expensive and conspicuous.
  • Silver amalgam: These fillings contain mercury mixed with metals such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc.

Learn More about Dental Filling Materials

To learn more about dental filling materials and how you can benefit from the exquisite tooth-colored fillings available at our practice, please contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry today.

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