Composite Resin Fillings in Reno, Nevada

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent health issues we face today, both in dental and in overall health. One method of treating tooth decay, or cavities, is to use dental fillings. Various materials have been used as dental fillings throughout history, including silver-colored amalgam fillings and gold fillings. Composite tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity in recent decades for their aesthetic and functional benefits. As materials have improved and their adoption has become more widespread, composite fillings offer several benefits compared to older amalgam silver fillings.

Traditionally, amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, were the material of choice in decades past due to their ease of use and longevity. Amalgam fillings are metal alloys primarily composed of silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Although there is plenty of internet content describing the harms of “mercury fillings”, amalgams have been used for decades with longstanding success. Though it is not true that amalgam fillings will poison your body over time, there is a better choice for dental fillings which alleviates any concerns of mercury in your mouth.

Today, composite fillings, often referred to as tooth-colored or white fillings, are the preferred choice for most patients and dentists when treating dental decay. Composite fillings are made of resin and silica and are an excellent option for repairing teeth that have been affected by tooth decay or damage. Some of the benefits offered by composite fillings include:

1. Aesthetically pleasing: Composite resin dental fillings can be color-matched to your teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth structure. They can be used on front teeth and back teeth alike, making composite a versatile material for both cosmetic and restorative scenarios.

2. Conservation of tooth structure: Composite fillings generally require less tooth structure removal than amalgam fillings. This means that more of the natural tooth structure can be preserved. Amalgam fillings require more thickness of material and therefore more removal of tooth structure. The less tooth structure that needs to be removed, the healthier it is for the tooth.

3. Chemically bonded: Composite fillings are bonded to your tooth by way of using strong acids and bonding agents. Amalgam restorations, on the other hand, are held in the tooth by mechanical retention alone. Although the process of bonding composite fillings is more technique sensitive than placing amalgam, it offers the benefit of versatility of use and reinforcement of the natural tooth.

4. Mercury Free: Composite tooth-colored fillings do not contain any mercury. This offers peace of mind to those averse or sensitive to metal fillings. It should be stated again, however, that although amalgam fillings do contain trace amounts of mercury, it should not be a major concern. Once placed, the amalgam silver fillings do not leak mercury into your system as some online articles may have you believe. In fact, the greatest risk of exposure to mercury occurs when an amalgam filling is removed. Removing amalgam fillings is a very common practice in dentistry, often needed when an old filling fails due to decay or cracking, or when a patient simply wants an aesthetic improvement from their old silver fillings. Fortunately, the risk of mercury exposure during the amalgam removal process is mitigated by use of isolation techniques and high-speed suction.

5. Longevity: Used for several decades now, composites are a great option as a long-term restorative material for dental fillings. As technology and materials have improved, so has the durability, longevity and appearance of composite restorations. Composite white fillings can last over 10 years when properly maintained with good oral hygiene routines at home and regular dental cleanings and check-ups at our office.

With their numerous benefits, composite continues to be the most widely used restorative material for dental fillings today. Although composite fillings work well for a wide variety of uses, another dental filling material may be indicated for a specific scenario. It is best to discuss your options with Dr. Swanson if you’re in need of a filling or other restorative work. Together we can decide on the most appropriate treatment for your individual needs.

Your Reno, NV Dentist for Composite Fillings

At Swanson Dental Group, our skilled team specializes in using advanced composite resin materials to create natural-looking dental fillings that seamlessly blend with your existing teeth. Say goodbye to traditional amalgam fillings and experience the benefits of our state-of-the-art composite fillings, designed for both front and back teeth. Whether you need restorative dentistry like dental crowns, root canals, onlays, or inlays, or you’re seeking cosmetic dentistry solutions for a beautiful smile, we’ve got you covered. Our skilled team will prioritize your dental health, providing anesthetic for comfortable dental procedures. From routine checkups to addressing dental problems, we’re dedicated to fostering good oral hygiene and maintaining the structural integrity of your teeth. Explore the possibilities of dental bonding, dentures, dental implants, and more at our Nevada dental office. Join us on the journey to a healthier, more beautiful smile with our natural-looking composite restorations. Contact our office today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Dental Crowns used?

Dental crowns are used for a myriad of reasons but are generally used when there is tooth damage, such as a broken tooth or cracked tooth, resulting from tooth decay or discoloration. Crowns are also commonly used after most root canal procedures to offer added strength and protection against future tooth fracture.  Dental crowns and veneers can be utilized simply to make aesthetic improvements to your smile. For example, if teeth are rotated, misshaped, asymmetric, damaged, discolored, etc., dental crowns and veneers could be an option to help achieve a more attractive smile. Crowns are also used to restore dental implants, which is an option for replacing a missing tooth on either front teeth or back teeth.

What’s the difference between Dental Crowns and Veneers?

Dental veneers are similar to dental crowns, except that they only cover the outward facing surfaces of the teeth, rather than the whole tooth, like crowns do. For this reason, veneers are used more often for cosmetic changes, rather than for repairing tooth damage and decay.

I’ve heard Dental Crowns are expensive, so can’t I just do a filling instead?

Usually, the extent of tooth damage is what determines whether a crown or a filling can be placed. If a tooth is severely damaged, has extensive decay or has a large filling that is failing, a dental crown may be the best long-term option for the tooth. In our Reno, NV office, Dr. Swanson always tries to recommend the most conservative option when it comes to dental treatment. Still, sometimes a dental crown is best suited for extending a tooth’s lifespan while maintaining the tooth structure. The cost of a dental crown or veneer will vary from office to office and depends on whether your dental insurance plan provides any financial help. The cost will also depend on which materials are used. If you are in need of a crown, all of these factors will be discussed upfront, so you are well aware of what to expect.  Dental crowns can be a wonderful long-term restoration, commonly lasting over 10 years when they are made with high-quality materials and well-maintained with proper care. 

What is involved with a dental crown procedure?

Many times, a dental crown procedure will take 2 visits. The first visit is longer and is when the bulk of the dental work is performed. Decay is removed from the tooth, the tooth is carefully prepared for a crown to fit over the top, and a detailed impression is taken. At the end of this first visit, you will be given a temporary crown to wear while your permanent crown is being made in a lab. The second visit is when your temporary crown is removed, and your custom permanent crown is checked and delivered. Local anesthetic is usually necessary for the first visit, but not always for the second. 

As technology in dentistry has improved over the years, dental crowns can be made in an in-office dental lab, which often allows for the crown to be completed in a single visit.

Many people falsely assume that root canal therapy is necessary prior to a crown, but this is not the case. However, the reverse is often true: dental crowns are usually necessary following root canal therapy.

What is the difference between a Dental Crown and a Dental Bridge?

A crown is a restoration for a single tooth, whereas a bridge is a restoration for multiple teeth when a tooth is missing.  A bridge is like multiple crowns fused together and is one option for replacing a missing tooth.

How do I clean my Dental Crown(s)?

As with anything, crowns require good oral hygiene as well as professional cleanings and maintenance to last as long as possible. When a permanent crown is placed, we recommend brushing twice a day, flossing daily and routinely coming in for professional cleanings as directed by your dental team. This will allow us to check on how your dental work is holding up and offer suggestions if needed.

If you have additional questions about dental crowns, veneers or any other dental treatments, give our Reno dental office a call, or stop into Swanson Dental Group, your local Reno dentist. We are here to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that you can confidently display for years to come.

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