When your child needs a filling, you may wonder whether the dentist will use metal amalgam or tooth-colored dental composite. At The Tooth Station, we only use composite to fill spots of decay on enamel. Our pediatric dentist and team made this decision for the following reasons:
Long-Term Patient Comfort
Metal contracts and expands with heat and cold, respectively. This fluctuation in a metal filling can increase patients’ risk of cracked or further damaged teeth. Metal also promotes thermal sensitivity, so patients may feel discomfort when eating something like ice cream or a steaming hot dinner. Composite does not change size with temperature and does not create dental sensitivity due to heat and cold. With white composite fillings, patients’ smiles are highly comfortable.
Composite actually bonds to dental enamel, creating a strong dental restoration, and does not require the removal of healthy tooth structure. When placing a metal filling, a larger amount of the tooth is buffed away. When treating a cavity on a baby tooth, this may be less of a concern, but for a child with permanent teeth, preserving healthy tooth structures is important. This allows your child to enjoy a healthy and strong smile well into the future.
Best Appearance Possible
Adults often focus on cosmetic dental treatments, but kids care about how they look as well. This is especially true in their teen years when appearance plays a role in self-esteem and social interactions. For this reason, it’s vital to ensure children’s smiles are seamlessly repaired after a cavity. Composite dental resin has the same sheen and coloring as natural teeth, providing healthy and bright smiles, no matter where the cavity is located. There will be no dark, silver spots on teeth.
Is Amalgam Dangerous?
While parents have undoubtedly heard about mercury in silver dental fillings and whether these materials are safe for use in dental work, there’s more to the story. Mercury is used in dental amalgam, however, the amount is minimal. Patients who prefer to avoid interaction with this chemical can choose composite, but exposure to small traces of mercury isn’t uncommon, especially for patients who eat certain foods. While amalgam isn’t dangerous, the white composite is our preference for both patient comfort and treatment results.
At The Tooth Station, we provide white dental fillings for kids and teens. If you have questions about your child’s treatment, we encourage you to call and speak to our friendly staff.