Most of us in the West Hollywood area know that feeling of hearing those dreaded words from our dentist of “Yes, you definitely have a cavity”. Next comes the sequential plan to fix the problem. In decades past most would have simply opted for filling the tooth or teeth with the standard amalgam filling which likely will contain mercury. Years ago there were not a lot of choices for having a bad tooth filled. You basically had those every popular dental amalgam mercury-based mixtures, porcelain and precious metals like gold and silver. A few newer materials we still have all those same choices and a few added ones like tooth-colored composite resins and GIC (glass ionomer cement).
The reality is that in dentistry safety is becoming a big concern among many in the West Hollywood area. This is especially true when addressing the health effects of dental amalgam fillings used inside the mouth. Many amalgam fillings typically contain mercury which is known to be a toxic material if released into the human body. Amalgam fillings that contain mercury are thought to be safe when used correctly, however, there is no way to be totally certain that there are no long-term harmful effects.
In recent years there has been an ever growing concern with dental fillings containing mercury everywhere including the West Hollywood area. Mercury is linked to a variety of long and short term health problems and should be avoided whenever possible. This is especially true for anyone who has a known sensitivity to this questionable metal.
In certain situations, a composite filling may be the best choice for filling a tooth cavity. Composite fillings would be the best material for filling a tooth cavity except for the fact that, unfortunately, there are several disadvantages for this type of filling. One disadvantage to a composite filling is that they do not last as long as other types of filling like amalgam. Add to that, the fact that they are more expensive. For patients needing several fillings, the cost can really begin to add up. And worst of all there are questionable health concerns with composite fillings.
Glass Ionomer Cement
If a patient is having a tooth drilled and filled where the decay is near the root of the tooth then the West Hollywood dentist may choose to first place a liner composed of GIC or composite resin to protect the nerve of the tooth. Then there will be additional steps needed for tooth-colored fillings. Often a special tool or light is applied to the filling that quickly cures and hardens every layer of the filling as it is applied. After the entire process of layering is completed then the inserted material is molded and shaped to get the desired final result. This is the portion of the tooth that will be visible. The dentist will then trim and polish the filling to finish off everything.
Ormocers (Organically Modified Ceramics)
When speaking of biocompatible fillings, in recent years there has been one notable advancement with the introduction of the generation of materials known as Ormocers. Ormocers, also known as organically modified ceramics, do not contain any toxic materials. For those wanting to go with the complete holistic approach, this is a great choice. The survival rate for this non-toxic material has been shown to be statistically the same as for composite fillings.
- tooth colored
- hard as glass yet with resin properties
- improved aesthetics
- better biocompatibility
- high abrasion resistance
- smoother surface
- less shrinkage
- protection against caries
Finally, there is an option that stands out above the rest with notable advantages. Currently, Ormocers is the overall best material for filling a tooth cavity in the majority of patients. Contact West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dental Care for your complementary dental filling consultation.