Dental fillings are an invaluable way to restore teeth after a cavity, keeping them strong and healthy without the need for more extensive treatment. Although there are quite a few options for filling materials nowadays, there is an essential aesthetic difference between traditional silver fillings and tooth-colored ones. Namely, silver fillings remain obvious as they contrast with the color of surrounding enamel, while other materials can blend in far more subtly.
Even aside from visuals, there are numerous benefits to be had from either composite resin or porcelain fillings. Before visiting our Orland Park office, consider the specific advantages of tooth-colored fillings from an experienced cosmetic dentist.
Composite Resin vs. Porcelain Fillings
Both composite resin and porcelain are a significant cosmetic upgrade from silver fillings. They are able to approximate your natural tooth color and shape, inconspicuously fitting in with the rest of your smile. This is especially important in front teeth, where fillings would be constantly seen, but even teeth that are farther back can benefit from retaining their natural appearance and bite surface.
Cosmetically, composite resin is already a significant upgrade from silver fillings, and it provides additional advantages to a tooth’s health as well. Porcelain fillings, on the other hand, are crafted outside of the mouth, and are more commonly referred to as inlays or onlays. These restorations provide an even greater boost to the aesthetics of a smile, but in return, porcelain restorations are more expensive than composite and other materials. If a tooth can be filled with either composite or porcelain, patients should weigh the pros and cons of each.
The Benefits of Composite Fillings
Composite resin is the most common material used for tooth-colored fillings, and is becoming increasingly popular overall. If you require new fillings or are considering replacing old ones, here is what you can expect from composite:
- Improved color: The difference between silver fillings and composite is dramatic. Even large fillings at the forefront of the mouth will be far less noticeable, if they are noticed at all.
- Improved shape: Since silver fillings are metal, it is difficult to shape them to the natural surface of a tooth. Composite, on the other hand, can be reshaped and surfaced to match your tooth’s natural contours.
- Preserved tissue: Other fillings require a cavity’s surface to be made rough to improve adhesion, which requires the removal of additional tooth tissue. Composite can bond with a tooth naturally, allowing the preservation of healthy tissue.
- Reinforced teeth: Since composite bonds with tooth tissue, it actually strengthens and reinforces the tooth as opposed to simply filling space within it.
- Cost effective: For tooth-colored fillings, composite is relatively affordable, providing a good middle ground for patients looking to improve their smile without spending too much on their fillings.
The Benefits of Porcelain Inlays and Onlays
Porcelain is a versatile dental material, covering everything from fillings to veneers and dental implant restorations such as crowns and bridges. No matter how it’s used, though, the benefits are clear:
- A perfect match: Due to the numerous colors of porcelain available, a dentist can match any inlay or onlay to the precise shade of your teeth.
- Uniquely crafted: Porcelain restorations are created from impressions of your teeth, using computer-aided technology. They are therefore able to restore the exact shape of a tooth.
- Long lasting: Porcelain is a durable material, able to withstand many years of use with little wear or discoloration. In most cases, porcelain is able to last just as long as traditional metal fillings, if not longer.
- Stain resistant: Porcelain is highly resistant to discoloration, unlike composite fillings or natural tissue. With regular hygiene and smart eating habits, there is little chance that porcelain fillings will become stained.
Make the Best Choice for Your Smile
We recognize that everyone’s priorities are different, and we hope to accommodate the individual needs and treatments goals of each patient. Come in for a consultation to learn how each of our services may benefit you, including the various options for dental fillings.