Ballantyne Center for Dentistry
15105 John J. Delaney Dr., Suite K Charlotte NC 28277 (704) 274-2992

 (704) 274-2992

“How can I replace these ugly metal amalgam fillings?”

It’s a question we hear all the time at the Ballantyne Center for Dentistry.

For years, a combination of silver and mercury was the standard filling material used at dental practices. While this was functional, metal fillings turn black over time, don’t last forever, and expand and contract in heat and cold (for the same reason that mercury is used in thermometers). This fluctuation can cause teeth to crack and break, leading to tooth or even nerve damage.

Today, dentists with the latest technology use totally different materials. The material we prefer at Ballantyne Center for Dentistry is composite resin, a tooth-colored material that strengthens rather than weakens teeth and contains no mercury or metals. Composite fillings produce an excellent cosmetic result, since they blend with your natural tooth color.

Have your old metal fillings replaced with composite or porcelain ones and get our powerful advanced professional teeth whitening at a significant discount!  Call us for details on our teeth whitening specials for patients of the practice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings in Charlotte, NCWhat is a dental filling?

A filling is a restoration designed to replace missing tooth structure, usually for the treatment of cavities or dental caries. Fillings can also restore teeth that are chipped, cracked or worn down.

Why should I replace metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings?

All fillings eventually need to be replaced. They can crack, chip or wear down from the forces of eating and the stress from clenching or grinding the teeth. When they wear down, it becomes more likely that food particles and bacteria will get in between the filling and the tooth, possibly infecting the dental pulp and necessitating root canal treatment or other restorative therapy.

In many cases, our team recommends replacing older metal fillings with tooth-colored filings because tooth-colored fillings:

  • match the surrounding tooth structure for a beautiful result
  • bond to the natural tooth structure
  • strengthen the tooth rather than weaken it
  • do not contain metal or mercury

How is a filling placed?

After the tooth has been prepared, the composite resin material is applied in layers and a special light is used to harden each layer. Once the composite has been shaped to fit the tooth, it is polished. How long this process takes depends on the size and location of the cavity.

Will my teeth be sensitive after the filling is placed?

After treatment, your teeth may feel slightly sensitive to hot or cold foods and the pressure of biting. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few weeks. If it does not go away, the discomfort could indicate the filling is poorly fitted or has developed a crack. This occurs very rarely but when it happens, it’s best to contact our team for an examination.

How long do dental fillings last?

Tooth-colored or composite fillings usually last anywhere between five and 10 years.

Replace Metal Fillings Charlotte, NCWhat can I do to take care of my filling?

Brush and floss your teeth daily as normal, and see your dentistry team regularly for checkups and exams. Eat a well-balanced diet and limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages. You can also inquire about sealants or special fluoride mouth rinses to prevent plaque buildup and decay.

How much do dental fillings cost?

The cost of dental fillings is based on the type and number of fillings needed, as well as your dental insurance plan. Tooth-colored fillings usually cost most than silver or amalgam fillings. Some insurers offer partial or complete coverage for certain types of fillings.

Can teeth with fillings be whitened?

No, teeth whitening products and treatments generally do not whiten fillings. If you whiten your teeth, the fillings will look discolored and noticeable. One way to work around this problem is to replace the fillings to match your whitened teeth.

Does it hurt to have a cavity filled?

We have options to make cavity treatment a virtually painless, stress-free experience. We can administer nitrous oxide or another form of sedation dentistry prior to treatment, so you don’t feel anything or remember anything from your appointment afterward.

 

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