What you should know about White Fillings
In today's 7 Wonders of Modern Dentistry Blog Post, we'll be talking about white composite fillings (spoiler alert: they're awesome!) They are made up primarily of resin and it's the material we choose at our offices. (The other option - which we haven't done in over 20 years - is metal amalgam fillings.)
Here are some reasons why we choose composite fillings over metal:
Many people prefer the aesthetic of tooth-coloured fillings compared to metal fillings, especially for their front teeth. Our team at ALFIE dentistry are so amazing at colour-matching - as you can see above, you can't even tell that a filling was done on that tooth! Even for back teeth (molars), some people will be self-conscious if a silver tooth accidentally shows (when eating or when laughing out loud) - so they'll opt for composite fillings. Over time, the colour from silver fillings can also affect the surrounding area, so the surrounding enamel can turn grey-ish as well.
Placing metal restorations also require us to drill bigger holes before being able to fill it - when compared to composite fillings. This leads to less damage to your natural tooth when you choose resin fillings.
Silver fillings contract and expand in reaction to hot/cold foods and this can also affect the integrity of your natural tooth in the long run - so think cracks that develop over time. While the resin material is sometimes said to expand and contract as well, it's to a lesser degree and it's also glued to your natural tooth, so the impact is less harmful overall.
One of the main health concerns of our patient base is the leeching of metal toxicity from amalgam fillings. Low levels of mercury are said to be released from metal fillings when chewing but the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) assures us that these levels are incredibly low, that dentists have used them for over 150 years and the science hasn't confirmed that amalgam fillings contribute to sickness. Since we only do white fillings at ALFIE dentistry, you're pretty safe from these concerns. But, if you're interested, you can read more about the CDA's stance on silver restorations here.
Like silver fillings, white ones are also covered by most dental insurance plans. While every plan depends on the agreement you have with your employer/insuring company and can vary on what percentage they cover up to, most insurances will ensure the same coverage for both types of restorations - or agree to pay up to the cost of metal restorations. If you're very concerned about insurance coverage, you can always ask us to help you send an estimate in advance of any treatment. That way, you'll have a clear picture of how much you'll be reimbursed and any out-of-pocket expenses you should expect.