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Going Metal-Free: The Benefits Of Composite Fillings

Metal-free fillings, also known as composite fillings, are made of a mixture of tooth-colored materials such as ceramic and composite resin. These fillings are a popular alternative to traditional metal fillings, made of an amalgam of various metals, including silver, tin, and mercury. Unlike metal fillings, composite fillings are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, and their color can be matched to the surrounding teeth. Moreover, they do not contain any potentially harmful mercury or other metals.

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Why Your Child May Need Fillings

Dental fillings are a common restorative treatment used to repair teeth damaged by decay or trauma. Children are susceptible to dental cavities due to their love for sweets and sometimes inadequate oral hygiene practices. Without proper dental care, cavities can progress and lead to pain, tooth sensitivity, and even infection. Dental fillings are a minimally invasive solution that can restore the tooth’s function and prevent further damage. Early detection and treatment of cavities can help your child maintain healthy teeth.

Metal-Free Fillings Are For:

  • Children and adults who are allergic or sensitive to metals
  • Patients who prefer a more natural-looking restoration
  • Individuals concerned about the health risks of metal fillings with mercury
  • Patients who need a small to medium-sized filling
  • Anyone who wants to improve the aesthetics of their smile
  • Patients who want a quick and painless filling procedure
  • Individuals with weakened teeth that require a more conservative restoration

How Metal-Free Fillings Work

Composite fillings are a mixture of resin and glass particles applied in layers and cured with a special light. The process begins with removing the decayed portion of the tooth, then cleaning and preparing the cavity for the filling. The composite material is applied to the tooth in layers, and each layer is cured with a light to harden the filling. The final step is to shape and polish the filling to ensure it blends seamlessly with the natural tooth.

Advantages of Metal-Free Fillings:

  • Natural-looking appearance
  • Can be matched to the color of surrounding teeth
  • Do not contain any potentially harmful mercury or metals
  • Provide an excellent bond with the tooth structure
  • Minimally invasive and require less removal of tooth structure
  • Can be placed in one visit
  • Typically less sensitive to hot and cold temperatures than metal fillings
  • Can be repaired or replaced if damaged
  • Durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 10 years or more
  • Can improve the overall health and function of the tooth
child brushing teeth after being seen for pediatric dental emergency in Wausau

The Metal-Free Fillings Session: What to Expect?

During your child’s filling session, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to ensure your child is comfortable. The decayed portion of the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be cleaned and prepared for the filling. The composite filling will be applied in layers and cured with a special light, and the final filling will be shaped and polished to blend seamlessly with the natural tooth. The procedure takes only one visit and can be completed within an hour.

What Happens After Metal-Free Fillings?

After your child’s metal-free filling session, they may experience some sensitivity or discomfort, which is normal and typically subsides within a few days. You can offer over-the-counter pain relief medication if necessary. To maintain the longevity of the filling, your child should avoid chewing on hard foods and candies, which can damage the filling. Encourage your child to brush and floss daily and schedule regular checkups to ensure the filling is in good condition.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings typically last up to 10 years or more with proper care. The lifespan of the filling may vary depending on factors such as the size and location of the filling, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and the general wear and tear on the tooth. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can ensure the filling is in good condition and extend its longevity.

Why Choose Sweet Tooth?

Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to providing exceptional dental care for children in a warm and friendly environment. Our team is committed to ensuring your child’s comfort and safety while delivering high-quality dental treatments. Led by Dr. Chelsea Zamudio, our clinic proudly offers metal-free fillings as a safer and more natural-looking alternative to traditional metal fillings. We invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help your child maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

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