Should You Choose White or Metal Fillings?

There is a long lasting debate about which treatment is better, since both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Many people still believe that metal fillings are better or at least on par with the composites, but the world is still moving toward using only composite fillings.

Despite the presence of mercury, amalgam is actually very safe and long lasting. The structure of mercury in amalgam is altered in a manner that makes it harmless, but still won’t help for those allergic to it. Amalgam is also relatively inexpensive and easier for dentists to work with, which all results in it being almost as twice cheap a procedure than composite fillings.

However, composites are a much finer material and are better for filling tooth cavities. These are made of acrylic plastics, porcelain and sometimes quartz, making them structurally similar to glass, but actually much thicker. While amalgam fillings are still longer lasting than composites, thickness and consistency of a white filling is better for teeth – not just because it fills cavities better, but there’s also the fact that it doesn’t naturally expand like metal does, so unlike the amalgam alloy, can’t lead to tooth crumbling or fracture over time.

White fillings also bond better to the tooth enamel. So, despite the fact they don’t last as long and are a bit more expensive than amalgam, white fillings will have a better long-term effect on the healthy state of a tooth.

The last, but not the least issue regarding amalgam is looks. It’s a piece of metal, and obviously looks like metal when it’s in your tooth. The colour of composite is a shade of light beige, very similar to the natural colour of tooth enamel. The front teeth are a major concern. Amalgams in these will always be visible despite being smaller and oriented towards the inside. A portion of alloy will remain visible in most cases. This makes white, composite fillings by far the best option for the front teeth. Most cosmetic dentists will opt for this treatment, as it looks far better than mental fillings.

Composite materials are often associated with chipping off, long treatment durations, short lifespan and relatively high price, but continuous white filling material research and development lead to the resolution of all these issues. White fillings were initially only a solution for those who prioritize the look of their teeth to health and comfort, but are now in many things more advanced than amalgam. In the future, these advantages will only become greater.


Dental Implants – A Personal Tale

When most people think of dental implants, images of large needles and other dental tools swarm the mind, as we imagine the worst things that can happen. It’s human nature, unfortunately.

I was no different to this, when nine years ago, I had an accident which resulted in the removal of three of my front teeth. I was concerned that my looks were to be tarnished forever. I imagined myself going into work the next day, sporting Grandma-like dentures. A sure way of keeping the girls at bay, as if they were knocking my door down!

I spoke to my dental surgeon about the possibilities I had in going forward. His first recommendation was dental implants, and they turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me both physically and mentally.

Under heavy local anaesthetic, titanium screws were drilled into the upper gum area. The reason that titanium is used is because its biocompatible material is accepted by the body, and it serves as a strong and sturdy structure for the replacement teeth. Your natural bone then locks the implant into place by fusing, or attaching itself, to the implant.

Mounted upon these titanium screws are porcelain structures, perfectly resembling teeth. I was told that the implants would last anywhere up to twenty years. In the nine years i have had them there has been zero deterioration, under the close scrutiny of regular check-ups.

They have given me an entire new level of self-confidence. The beauty of opting for implants is that you can pretty much decide the style and size you want your new oral features to be.

It is a procedure that does not come cheap however, ranging anywhere from $3,000 per tooth. The experience of having the implants attached is not a pleasant one either, but I can say that it is at least not a protracted one. There are many reasons for dental implants, and if you are willing to suffer the cost, and the small amount of dis-comfort, then it is totally worth it.

Before committing to the procedure, ensure you have thoroughly researched your options and potential outcomes.


Choosing Dental Implants or Veneers

Dental implants are used to support one or multiple false teeth, whereby a titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of a tooth. Dental implants are a safe, established form of dental treatment and a procedure that is usually done using local anaesthetic.

Implants will however require the patient to have healthy gums and a strong jawbone to which they can hold. An experienced implantologist will assess your dental health and determine your suitability for implant treatment.

Implants are usually made of titanium, a metal known for its high strength and resistance to corrosion, therefore with good oral hygiene should last for the rest of your life.

A dental veneer in comparison is when a thin layer is made, usually of porcelain though sometimes of a resin composite material for a more natural-coloured finish, to fit over the front surface of a tooth.

One major advantage of veneers is that because they are extremely thin and held on by adhesive, very little to no preparation of the tooth is required to fit them. The result: teeth look natural, healthy and well maintained.

Veneers should last for many years – between 5 to 10 years on average – though they can chip or break, much like your own natural teeth. Small chips can easily be repaired, or a completely brand new veneer(s) fitted if necessary. Some have compared veneers to that of a false nail being stuck on top of a real nail.

As veneers are individually moulded for each patient, it’s extremely difficult to notice the difference between a fitted veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers are excellent at resisting tea and coffee stains, along with nicotine blemishes, as they are made of highly advanced materials. For teeth that also resist whitening, veneers can make even the darkest, blemished teeth appear a glorious bright white again.

Maintenance of veneers is nigh on identical to that of your original teeth, with regular brushing and flossing with a fluoride-based toothpaste.

Other dental alternatives include a natural-coloured filling, which is ideal for minor repairs to damaged front teeth, such as chipped corners or minor cracks, removable dentures (false teeth), and a bridge.