Answering Questions About Tooth-Colored Fillings

woman thinking about tooth-colored fillingsTooth fillings may be among the most common restorative dentistry procedures today, but many people aren’t aware of just how far the restorations have come. For instance, not long ago, most fillings were made of a mixture, or amalgam, of various metals, such as silver, tin, and liquid mercury. Today, however, innovative composite resin is quickly overcoming metal amalgam in popularity. If you need a filling, or if you still have a metal one, then there are several things you should know about modern tooth-colored fillings.

Why do I need a filling, anyway?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth, caused by the progression of infectious bacteria, and a tooth filling is designed to “fill” the hole and restore your tooth’s strength. Otherwise, the cavity will continue to grow, and the tooth will eventually become too infected and too weak to save.

What makes tooth-colored fillings better than metal ones?

Metal amalgam is strong, and has been popular for over a century, but composite resin conforms more accurately to a cavity’s shape, creating a more durable restoration. The resin can also bond more easily to the tooth than metal can, which reduces the risks of the restoration failing and allowing bacteria to reinfect the tooth.

If I have a metal filling, should I replace it?

Even if your metal filling is still intact, you might not appreciate its appearance when you open your mouth to speak or smile. Also, there is still an increased risk of the filling failing and needing replacement eventually. Whether for appearance or for increased security, it may be a good idea to replace your current amalgam filling with a tooth-colored one.


Dr. Alexander A. Sabet strives for clinical excellence in a comforting environment. We offer the latest in preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. Dr. Sabet’s various services include teeth whitening, TMJ treatment, and teeth bonding in Vista, CA. To learn more about his services or to schedule a consultation, call (760) 724-9117. Dr. Sabet proudly treats patients from Vista and the surrounding areas of Carlsbad, Ocean side, San Marcos, and Escondido.