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If you had a car accident five years ago, would you put a sign on top of your car to let everyone know about it?If you fell and broke your arm three years ago, would you wear a button that read, “Ask how I broke my arm”?With that in mind, why would you want metal fillings, which basically announce that you had a cavity even though you don’t have it anymore?We understand that at one time, metal or amalgam fillings may have been your only option. It doesn’t have to be that way today, however.If you do get a cavity — or you have a filling that is ready to be replaced — Sunrise Dental can give you a tooth-colored filling instead. If you live in or near Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, or Cary, just call one of our dentist offices to make an appointment.What’s Wrong Amalgam Fillings?Amalgam fillings are made by blending two or more metals together.In general, 50 percent of the material is mercury and the other half includes copper, silver, tin, or a combination of those metals. You will understand why these are also called metal fillings.As you know if you have one of these fillings or you know someone with these fillings, these do not match the color of your teeth.Depending on the location and how close you are to the person, these fillings can be quite noticeable. You may want attention from the person you are talking to, but you may not be receiving the kind of attention that you wanted if they are distracted by what’s in your teeth.At some point, you have seen that someone else had food stuck in their teeth. You probably let them know about it because it was distracting you from listening to what they were saying.Now imagine that piece of food could not be removed and you may understand how distracted some people could be by your metal fillings.What Should Fillings Do?Fillings are intended to do two things.They should fill in the part of your tooth that was eaten away as a result of tooth decay. This restores the shape of your tooth and allows it to function as it always has.Fillings also should seal this opening to protect your tooth from recurring cavities.When you think about that, it doesn’t really matter what your filling looks like. It makes sense that dentists would use gold or amalgam. These materials are solid and durable.Fortunately for us, dental researchers have developed a composite resin that can do the same job as other kinds of fillings.Since this resin is white, it can match the color of your teeth. This added cosmetic benefit makes it an excellent alternative to metal fillings. In other words, you no longer have to advertise to the people you meet which of your teeth have had cavities.How Common Are Cavities?Cavities, or tooth decay, remain one of the most common oral health issues affecting Americans. An estimated 92 percent of adults in the United States will have at least one cavity in their lives, and millions of people will have more than one, according to the National Institutes of Health.If you’ve never had a cavity, keep up the good work, although the odds are that you will have one at some point in your life.When and if this happens, we welcome you to visit any of our dentist offices to get one of our white fillings.What About Replacing Fillings?With proper care, fillings can last a long time. Most of them will need to be replaced at some point, however.You should replace any filling that is chipped, cracked, or separated from your teeth or has fallen out. Each of those situations exposes a part of your tooth that can’t be cleaned with a toothbrush or by flossing. The longer you have a deficient or missing filling, the more likely you are to develop a new cavity.When it’s time to replace your filling, this would be a good time to get a tooth-colored filling. You may have had a cavity decades ago, but because you have metal fillings, it may still be spoiling your smile.Call To Learn MoreIf you believe you have tooth decay or you are ready to replace your old, metal fillings, then now is a great time to contact Sunrise Dental.Make an appointment by calling one of our dentist offices in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Cary or by filling out the online form for the location nearest to you.