What You Need to Know About Your Fillings

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What You Need to Know About Your Fillings

Young beautiful woman with big earrings smiles.

There are several things you can do to prevent tooth decay. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is a great start. Visiting Smiles 4 Grant Park every six months for routine preventive appointments can help, too. Beyond that, you can limit your exposure to the foods and drinks that feed bacteria and lead to demineralization of tooth enamel. Unfortunately, many of us will still wind up with at least one or two cavities at some point in our lives. When those cavities develop, you can count on Dr. Abbey Lee to provide white fillings to restore those teeth and keep your smile looking bright and healthy.

Do you have old fillings that need to be monitored? Dr. Lee provides Grant Park white fillings to replace your old metal fillings. Call us at 404-328-7177 to make an appointment.

What You Can Expect from Your Fillings

Fillings have been the cornerstone of restorative dentistry for almost a century. When teeth become damaged by bacterial acids, fillings restore the structure of a tooth and prevent the decay from spreading. The thing you should know about fillings, however, is that they don’t last forever. The average lifespan of a white filling is approximately eight years. If you have fillings that are over eight years old, you should have them checked by your dentist during your routine six-month visits. You should also contact your dentist if a filling feels different, becomes looser than in the past, changes in its appearance, or if the affected tooth develops a toothache or other unusual sensitivity.

Metal Fillings vs. White Fillings

Metal fillings have the tendency to last longer than white fillings (about 12 years), but they have other qualities that make them less desirable than white composite fillings. When metal fillings age they have the tendency to expand, which can result in cracking the restored tooth or causing fractures. They also make your teeth look more obviously damaged, whereas Grant Park white fillings are often unnoticeable. Having a consistently white smile keeps your smile looking healthy and whole.

Beyond the aesthetics of white fillings, they also contain no mercury, which may be of concern for some patients. Metal fillings contain a small amount of mercury, which makes them pliable. While the mercury in fillings is not considered a health hazard, since it is not absorbed by the body—it still can be considered an environmental hazard. That mercury will wind up somewhere when the filling is ultimately replaced. We can avoid this potential environmental concern by avoiding metal fillings in the first place. White composite fillings are as effective as metal fillings, and bond better to the teeth.

Routine Visits Prevent Cavities

Most people will need a restorative filling at some point in their lives. If you want to make sure your teeth stay free from cavities, the best thing you can do beyond daily oral hygiene is visit Smiles 4 Grant Park for preventive care. During your six-month visits, we perform a dental cleaning that prevents the formation of cavities. We remove the calcified plaque (tartar) that leads to cavities and use special tools to look for “soft spots” that may ultimately become a cavity. When we find these spots of demineralized enamel, we apply fluoride treatments to strengthen and harden the enamel, so a cavity does not develop.

Visit Smiles 4 Grant Park for your routine smile maintenance! We’ll do our best to prevent your teeth from developing cavities. When decay does develop, we provide Grant Park white fillings to keep your smile looking bright. Call us at 404-328-7177 to schedule an appointment.

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