A dental cavity, which is a small area of tooth decay, is not a major cause for concern in and of itself, however, there is a potential for more serious dental problems. Because of this, it is always important to treat dental fillings as soon as possible. While there are many restorative dentistry treatments available to repair the damage of tooth decay, the most common for dental cavities is a dental filling. A dental filling is conformed to the damage tooth to replace healthy tooth enamel that has been lost, strengthening the tooth and restoring its function. While many dentists choose to treat cavities with metal fillings, Dr. Sharon B. Mateja prefers tooth-colored fillings. She believes that, for her Rancho Cucamonga patients, tooth-colored filling benefits far outweigh those of traditional metal fillings.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Traditional metal fillings are fabricated using a silver amalgam compound, which gives them their gray color. Tooth-colored fillings are fabricated using composite material that can be colored to match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth. While this is an important aesthetic distinction that creates a much more attractive smile than metal fillings, this is not the only benefit of tooth-colored fillings. To begin with, tooth-colored fillings provide patients with all the health benefits of metal fillings, which include the following:
- Repair of damaged tooth
- Improved oral functions
- Sealant protection from further decay or infection
- Relief of pain or sensitivity that may have been experienced
Aside from the above benefits that can be gained from any type of dental filling, tooth-colored fillings are Dr. Mateja’s restoration of choice for dental cavities because they offer the following additional benefits:
- Tooth-colored fillings require the removal of less enamel and thus preserve more of the natural teeth
- Tooth-colored fillings do not expand and contract the way that metal fillings do, so they are less likely to cause damage to the tooth down the road
- Tooth-colored fillings actually create a bond between the tooth and composite material, so they not only repair the tooth, but also strengthen it
- Tooth-colored fillings maintain the appearance of the smile because they blend in seamlessly with the natural tooth and will not discolor the teeth as metal amalgam fillings have been known to do
- Tooth-colored fillings are completely free of toxic materials, including mercury, which is present in small traces in metal amalgam fillings
When it comes to treating tooth decay, Dr. Mateja prefers to use the most conservative treatment option possible so that patients can preserve natural tooth structure. While many cases of decay can be adequately treated with a dental filling, some require more extensive repair and protection. In these cases, Dr. Mateja can restore the tooth with a dental crown, which fully encircles the tooth while acting as a barrier between the natural tooth and bacteria.
Schedule an Appointment
No matter what state of damage or decay a patient has experienced, Dr. Sharon Mateja can restore the tooth so that it functions as intended without negatively impacting the appearance of the smile. To learn more about tooth-colored fillings or our other restorative dentistry services, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mateja at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!