I need to get a filling on a back tooth. I was hoping for one of those white fillings but my dentist says they’re not strong enough for back teeth. Is there another alternative to the silver ones?
I believe either your dentist is confused about the technology, or he’s just saying that to you to put you off of an idea where he hasn’t adjusted to the new bonding procedure. Some dentists don’t realize the bonding procedure for composite (white) and amalgam (silver) fillings are completely different. So, they go into it thinking they know what to do. The procedure fails and they feel the procedure is at fault. After all, the old amalgam fillings always worked.
Other times, a dentist knows he or she is unfamiliar with the different bonding technique required so rather than say that they steer the patient to a different procedure they are more comfortable with. That being said, you don’t want to push your dentist to do a procedure that is out of his comfort zone. If not done correctly, you’ll have some pain with chewing until it is replaced.
Composite Fillings and Back Teeth
The truth is composite fillings are actually better for your back teeth than their amalgam predecessors. The composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, which strengthens the tooth as opposed to weakening it the way the silver fillings do.
There’s also less sensitivity because they are metal-free and therefore less reactive to hot and cold foods or beverages. They also blend in well with your teeth. However, most patients feel the biggest benefit to them is they are mercury-free. The largest ingredient in the silver fillings is actually mercury, a known toxin. While the American Dental Association has declared they are safe, you can understand why many patients want to avoid having mercury in their body if they can help it. White composite fillings are completely mercury-free.
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