Embrace Metal-Free Fillings at Perrott Dentistry
Metal-free fillings are a contemporary alternative to traditional metal fillings. These fillings, also known as composite or tooth-colored fillings, offer a promising solution for dental restoration without the use of metals like silver amalgam. At Perrott Dentistry, our Boardman, OH restorative dentist, Dr. Robert Perrott specializes in enhancing and creating natural-looking smiles.
To learn more about metal-free fillings, contact our Boardman dental office by calling (330) 726-0090.
What Are Metal-Free Fillings?
Metal-free fillings are dental restorations composed of a composite resin material. Unlike traditional metal fillings which typically contain a mixture of metals such as silver, mercury, tin, and copper, metal-free fillings are made from a blend of resin and finely ground glass-like particles. This composite material closely matches the natural color of teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing option for dental restoration.
Metal-Free Fillings vs Metal Fillings
Metal-free fillings offer several advantages over traditional metal fillings:
- Aesthetic Appearance: Metal-free fillings blend seamlessly with natural tooth color, while metal fillings can be more noticeable.
- Preservation of Tooth Structure: Metal-free fillings require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to metal fillings.
- Mercury-Free: Metal-free fillings do not contain mercury, addressing concerns about potential health risks associated with mercury exposure.
Benefits of Metal-Free Fillings
- Aesthetic Appeal: Metal-free fillings blend seamlessly with the natural color of teeth, ensuring a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Preservation of Tooth Structure: Composite resin bonds directly to the tooth, allowing for more conservative tooth preparation and preserving more of the natural tooth structure.
- Durability: Metal-free fillings are durable and can withstand normal biting and chewing forces.
- Reduced Sensitivity: Metal-free fillings are less conductive than metal fillings, resulting in reduced sensitivity to temperature changes.
- Mercury-Free: Unlike traditional metal fillings that contain mercury, metal-free fillings eliminate the use of this potentially harmful substance.
Metal-Free Fillings Procedure
Dr. Perrott begins by removing decayed or damaged tooth material using a dental drill or other tools. This step is crucial to halt the progression of decay and prepare the tooth for the filling. Local anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the procedure.
Isolation and Moisture Control
To create an optimal environment for filling placement, your Boardman dentist may place a rubber dam around the tooth being treated. This isolates the tooth from saliva and other fluids in the mouth, ensuring a dry surface for the filling procedure. Moisture control is essential to prevent contamination and ensure the longevity of the filling.
Etching and Bonding
Dr. Perrott applies a mild acidic solution, known as etching gel, to the prepared tooth surface. This etching creates microscopic pores in the enamel, allowing the bonding agent to penetrate and form a strong bond with the tooth structure. After rinsing off the etching gel and drying the tooth, he applies a bonding agent to the treated surface. This bonding agent acts as a bridge between the tooth and the composite resin, promoting strong adhesion.
Dr. Perrott carefully layers the tooth-colored composite resin material into the prepared cavity, shaping it to match the natural contours of the tooth. Composite resin is a putty-like material that can be sculpted and molded to achieve the desired shape and size. Each layer of composite resin is incrementally added and hardened (cured) using a special curing light. This light activates the bonding agents within the material, ensuring a secure bond to the tooth structure.
After each layer of composite resin is applied, it is hardened (cured) using a high-intensity curing light. This light emits a specific wavelength of light that activates the photo-initiators in the composite material, causing it to polymerize and harden within seconds. Curing ensures that the filling material becomes strong and durable, capable of withstanding normal biting and chewing forces.
Shaping and Polishing
Once the filling material has been fully cured, your Boardman dentist trims and shapes it to achieve the desired shape, contour, and bite alignment. Special instruments are used to sculpt the filling and ensure a seamless blend with the surrounding tooth structure. Finally, the filling is polished to smooth out any rough edges and create a natural-looking finish that mimics the shine of natural tooth enamel.
Dr. Perrott conducts a final evaluation to check the bite and occlusion of the restored tooth. Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure proper alignment and functionality. The patient’s comfort and satisfaction with the filling are paramount.
Aftercare for Metal-Free Fillings
After the metal-free filling procedure, it’s essential to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure the longevity and success of the restoration. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your metal-free fillings:
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Proper oral hygiene helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and bacteria around the filling, reducing the risk of decay and gum disease.
- Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods: While metal-free fillings are durable, they may not withstand excessive force or pressure. Avoid biting or chewing on hard objects such as ice, hard candies, or pens, as this can damage the filling or cause it to become dislodged. Similarly, sticky foods like caramel or chewing gum can adhere to the filling and potentially pull it out.
- Attend Regular Dental Check-Ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings at Perrott Dentistry. During these appointments, Dr. Perrott will examine the condition of your metal-free fillings and monitor your overall oral health. Early detection of any issues can help prevent complications and ensure timely treatment.
- Monitor for Sensitivity: It’s normal to experience some sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages immediately after getting a metal-free filling. However, if sensitivity persists or worsens over time, it could indicate a problem with the filling or underlying tooth structure. In such cases, contact your dentist for further evaluation and treatment.
- Be Mindful of Oral Habits: Avoid habits that can put undue stress on your teeth and fillings, such as clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism). If you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a night guard to protect your dental restorations and prevent further damage.
- Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, as these can contribute to tooth decay and erosion, potentially compromising the integrity of your metal-free fillings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can metal-free fillings be used for all types of dental treatments?
Metal-free fillings can be used for a variety of dental treatments, including repairing cavities, fixing chips or cracks in the teeth, and reshaping or correcting the appearance of the teeth. However, some treatments may require other materials or procedures. Your dentist can advise you on the best option for your specific needs.
Are fillings painful?
No, getting a filling should not be painful. The dentist may use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth, but most people do not experience any significant pain during the procedure.
Can metal-free fillings stain?
Yes, metal-free fillings can stain over time, just like your natural teeth. To minimize staining, it’s important to avoid drinking or eating foods that can stain the teeth, such as red wine, coffee, and tobacco.
Are metal-free fillings covered by insurance?
It depends on your insurance plan. Some insurance plans cover metal-free fillings, while others don’t. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to determine if they cover this type of treatment.
Take a Step Towards a Healthy and Beautiful Smile
Metal-free fillings offer a modern solution for dental restoration, providing numerous benefits. With their natural appearance and durability, metal-free fillings have become a popular choice for patients seeking a safer and more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal fillings. If you’re considering dental restoration, discussing the option of metal-free fillings with your Boardman, Oh dentist dentist could be a step towards achieving a healthy and beautiful smile.
Schedule a consultation today by calling Perrott Dentistry at (330) 726-0090.