Everyone wants a beautiful smile and just about everyone gets a cavity or two in their lifetime. Those two things did not used to go together. However, amalgam, or silver-colored fillings, has been replaced with new tooth-colored options. While they do fall under ‘cosmetic’ dentistry, we at St. George Smiles think they are necessary to give you the best, most beautiful smile.
As you are looking for cosmetic dental fillings, there are a few options which can be confusing. Let’s take a look at the options:
Porcelain—Safety vs. Durability
Porcelain material is going to give you the closest appearance to natural teeth. Porcelain is also the only material currently used in cosmetic dentistry which does not carry a potential health risk from the substance itself.
Using porcelain for a cosmetic dental filling is a two visit process. First, an impression of the tooth is taken. Next, that impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the porcelain is used to make a perfect fit to your tooth. On the second visit, the material is inlaid, sometimes called on-laid, and affixed to the tooth surface.
Porcelain while strong and natural looking can cause problems, however. Like glass, porcelain starts as oxygen and silicon is an natural element from the Earth and is not the same as silicone which is what is used in plastic surgery). Silicon is a component of sand so like sand it is rough. Therefore over time it can scuff the surface of the opposing tooth during biting. The resulting porcelain is also prone to cracking or breaking.
Composite—Less drilling, looks and feels like the real thing too
Composite cosmetic fillings are the preference for front teeth. The material is extremely durable and requires the least amount of drilling so the visible surface of the teeth is preserved and natural looking.
They are frequently the material of choice because one office visit is usually enough to restore the teeth. The dentist places the material into the tooth in layers. Each layer is cured with a special light. The dentist builds the new tooth from the inside out and shapes it to appear like the rest of the tooth. The composite material bonds with the tooth which can strengthen the tooth.
However, composite fillings contain bisphenol-A (BPA) which has recently come under fire for its potential breast cancer link. The American Dental Association in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers the risk to be extremely minimal considering the trace amount used.
Now that you are aware of the types of cosmetic dental fillings we would be glad to visit with you about which of the options would be best for you. We want to be your St. George, Utah dentist because we are St. George Smiles.