A very common dental issue that many patients experience is a cavity in their tooth that needs to be filled. If left untreated, the bacteria that causes the cavity can get to the center of the tooth and cause an infection. Filling a cavity when it is small is the best way to prevent the issue from becoming much worse.
For many years, dental fillings were made from an inexpensive metal amalgam that often contained small amounts of mercury. While they were easy to procure and install into a tooth, the amalgam fillings had many negative side effects. Hot and cold beverages would cause the filling to expand and contract, which would lead to the filling loosening and eventually fall out. The material was much weaker than a natural tooth, so it could also lead to the tooth failing under the pressure of chewing.
Luckily, dental technology has provided us with tooth-colored fillings that can match nearly any shade of tooth, meaning they will blend in a nearly seamless manner. The composite material used for the fillings is also much stronger than the metal amalgams of the past, which can help strengthen a weakened tooth.
For patients that have received amalgam fillings in the past, many teeth can be restored with tooth colored fillings. Many teeth are able to have their fillings switched out successfully, but some teeth with a larger amount of dental work may need a dental crown instead.
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