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What’s in a Filling?

Has a tooth been affected by a cavity, or been cracked or chipped slightly? If so, you may be a candidate for a filling. You may be thinking that you don’t like the metal look of gold or silver colored fillings, but rest assured, those days are gone. Today’s fillings are designed to be unobtrusive and look as much like your regular teeth as possible!

At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc utilize high-quality, tooth-colored fillings to repair smiles for lasting brilliance and strength.

Tooth filling options

There have been many different options for tooth fillings through the years. Here’s what you need to know about common filling materials:

Cast gold fillings

Cast gold fillings were the option of choice for years. The gold doesn’t corrode, can withstand chewing force, and often lasts 10-15 years or more. However, gold is highly visible, is expensive, and requires multiple office visits to complete the filling.  

Silver amalgam fillings

Silver is cheaper than gold, while retaining many of the features that make gold fillings popular. Silver also resists corrosion, is strong enough for the mechanical action of chewing, and can last the same 10-15 years or longer. However, silver is also easy to see in the mouth, and most older amalgams contain mercury, which can leach out of the filling and discolor your teeth and gums. (Mercury in fillings does not, however, poison you — this is a myth.)

Tooth-colored fillings

Our dentists provide patients with tooth-colored materials like composite resin and porcelain for fillings. These materials don’t expand or contract with heat or cold, look like your regular teeth, and seal up holes left by cavities better than metal fillings do. They also require less removal of your natural tooth structure.

Who needs a filling?

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may need a tooth filled:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, as soon as possible, getting a filling can save your tooth and minimize the need for extensive dental work.  

To learn more about how we can improve your smile with a tooth-colored filling, schedule a consultation today by calling the office at 202-833-1111 or booking an appointment online.

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