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- What are composites?
- Composite Resin, or White Fillings, are made from a mix of plastic and glass, and are used to fill tooth decay or to improve the appearance of discolored or disfigured teeth. The color of the filling can actually be blended by your dentist to match the color of your other teeth pretty closely. The color can change a little bit due to foods or liquids that can stain - like coffee or tea, however, a plastic coating can be added to the composite to help prevent that. On the downside, composites are more expensive than silver fillings, and can wear down on large cavities a little more quickly than silver - but they work very well for small cavities.
- What are silver fillings made of?
- Amalgam - which is made of silver, tin, copper and mercury. It's been used for over 100 years, and though it contains mercury, is perfectly safe. The chemical nature of mercury is changed during the process of combining all the materials to make the amalgam, making it essentially harmless. You probably are exposed to higher amounts of mercury in air and water! Silver fillings are quicker to use and cost effective...millions of fillings are placed every year!
- What is bleaching?
- Simply put, it's whitening your teeth. Your dentist can brighten your smile safely and easily..and it can last up to five years, though your personal habits will effect the length of time it lasts. Smoking, drinking coffee and tea, for example, can cause teeth to darken after a while, so you may need a touch-up whitening.
- How can I prevent periodontal disease?
- Gum disease (periodontal disease) can be cause by several factors. Plaque build-up is a major cause. Not having your teeth routinely cleaned by your dentist can cause the food debris between your teeth and at the gumline to harden into calculus or tartar. This in turn, can release bacterial toxins which can infect the gums and cause them to be red and tender. This is called gingivitis. Left untreated, the infection can spread to ligaments and even the bone supporting your teeth. The best and most effective way to prevent this disease is simply by having your teeth cleaned professionally by your dentist on a regular schedule. It only takes weeks for the gum disease to develop.