Oh No! A Cavity!
You wake up in the morning and immediately grab your cheek. “Ouch!” you exclaim, “This tooth doesn’t feel very good at all.” Throughout the day, you find yourself babying the right side of your mouth, not wanting to chew anything on that particular spot. And when dessert time comes at dinner, you decide to pass on the sweets not wanting to aggravate your angry tooth any more than you have to.

It sounds like you might have a nasty cavity, where your tooth begins to decay and could be causing your pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is to simply reach for the phone, and call Dr. Ansarian so that he can repair any cavities you might have.

When you come to the office, Dr. Ansarian will do a brief check of your teeth to see if there is a cavity deep in the crevices of your tooth. If there is a cavity, then you could require a filling, which replaces the decayed portion of the tooth so that more of it can remain healthy for years to come. But did you know that there are multiple filling options to consider?
Continue reading to learn about what type of filling might be good for you—is composite more your style so that it can blend into the natural color of your teeth, or do you like the classic model of the amalgam filling? Find out below which filling might be the right fit for you!

The Choices: Composite or Amalgam Fillings
So it is confirmed—you have a cavity. It is now the time to choose a filling that will work best for you. But what is the difference between fillings?Amalgam fillings are also commonly referred to as ‘silver fillings’ since they are made from silver, mercury, tin, and copper. They are long-lasting and very durable. While they are a cost-effective method for filling a cavity, there are some facts about amalgams to consider. Silver fillings require Dr. Ansarian to remove more of the affected tooth in order to make room for the silver-mercury combination, so less of the healthy tooth remains.

If you have to have multiple cavities filled, then you will have silver that can be seen when you open your mouth and say “Ahh!” The teeth with amalgams can also have a grayish tint since the metals can reflect through the teeth and change the hue. After the amagam filling is remove the tooth may stay dark with stain from the heavy metals. Many times it is necessary to replace the amalgam filling before the irreversible staining occurs. The metals also expand and contract more when exposed to hot and cold foods and drinks. Furthermore, metal transfers temperature more readily than tooth structure or composite resin and teeth filled with amalgam can be more sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuation. In turn, this can sometimes cause a tooth to crack or break when exposed to extreme heat or cold.

In addition, there are other concerns that are rising in regards to the mercury in amalgams. A mixture of liquid mercury and alloy powder of silver, copper, and tin are used to make an amalgam. More and more researchers are investigating the effects of mercury and toxicity. Mercury vapor is at the greatest concentration immediately after the placement or removal of amalgams. In-turn, dentists have to use extra safety measures to place and remove amalgams.

However, there is another filling option that does not have the same safety concerns. If you are looking for a filling that blends more naturally into your mouth, then a composite filling might be for you. Composite fillings are also known as “tooth colored” fillings and are very close to the natural color of teeth, usually blending in flawlessly. The resin that the majority of composite fillings are made of requires less of the healthy tooth to be removed, so more of the healthy tooth can stay intact when compared to amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are generally more expensive than amalgams, but are very durable with no mercury components. Rarely are amalgam fills done today. Most people enjoy the cosmetically appealing, safer composite resin restoration.

What Should I Choose? Composite or Amalgam Fillings?
A large amount of information was just tossed your way, so you still might have questions about the differences between the two choices in fillings. But not to worry! When you come into Ansarian Dental Care, Dr. Ansarian will discuss all of your filling options with you. We can discuss the aesthetic qualities of amalgam and composite fillings, the pricing of each, and the proper dental care to manage both.

Even if you discover that you do not have a cavity that needs to be filled when you come to the office, we can still discuss proper dental hygiene care. Make sure that you are in a good habit of brushing twice a day, flossing a least once a day, and coming in for routine check-ups to keep those pesky cavities away.
Remember, our philosophy is, “Neither quality nor professionalism shall
ever be sacrificed in the care of patients,” so when you call our office, or come in for a visit, you always are receiving the very best care. We help you keep that smile beautiful!

References:
Canadian Dental Association. Filings.
http://www.ada.org/3094.aspx#amafillings
Dr. Ansarian. General Dentistry. http://www.Ansarian.com/
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. The US Amalgam Debate. http://www.iaomt.org/articles/files/files336/Cartland%20-US%20Dental%20Amalgam%20Debate%202010%20FDA%20Meeting%202011-10-02.pdf
WebMD. Dental Fillings.
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

 

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