Modern Tooth-Colored Fillings
By William Stofer on August 26, 2013
In today’s culture that appreciates a bright, healthy-looking smile, tooth-colored fillings have become the most popular treatment for cavities. Also known as composite resin fillings, tooth-colored fillings blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth, and because the material is durable enough to withstand the stress of chewing, it can be used on either your front or back teeth. Like porcelain dental crowns that can be color-matched to your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings are a great option for patients who want to protect their teeth while maintaining a beautiful smile.
The Procedure and What to Expect
Treating a cavity with a composite filling is similar to other, older types of treatments. The process involves removal of the decayed portion of the tooth and then "filling" in that area to restore the tooth’s original shape and function. Using tooth-colored materials takes a little more time in order to achieve the best, customized results.
First, we’ll use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and nearby gums. Then, using a drill or other specialized instrument, we’ll remove the decayed area and clean the cavity of debris and bacteria. The tooth-colored material is then applied in layers, using a special light to "cure" or harden each new layer. Once all layers have been applied, your dentist will sculpt and color-match the composite material to the ideal shape and color for your surrounding teeth and then polish the final restoration.
Benefits Of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The main advantage of a composite filling is its ability to blend in with the surrounding tooth structure. But in addition to aesthetics, tooth-colored fillings have the following benefits:
- Versatility: Composite fillings aren’t just for cavities. The material can be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth - in either your front or back teeth.
- Stronger bonding: Composite fillings chemically bond to your tooth structure, which provides more support for the restoration.
- Less sensitivity: Tooth-colored fillings are less sensitive to hot or cold, which is common with traditional amalgam fillings.
- Tooth-saving preparation: Sometimes, less of your natural tooth will need to be removed in preparation for a composite filling, compared with amalgam fillings.
- Less expansion/contraction: When in contact with hot and cold liquids, composite material tends to expand and contract less than amalgam does. This expansion and contraction of filling materials, like amalgam, can lead to cracks, fractures, and additional decay.
- Safety: Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resin fillings do not contain mercury, a material that some patients are allergic to or have health concerns about.
- Color-matching: We’ll closely match the color of the composite filling to match your surrounding natural teeth. No more unsightly silver fillings!
Learn More about Tooth-Colored Fillings
As part of our comprehensive range of general and cosmetic dentistry services, Dental Solutions offers tooth-colored fillings to all our Warsaw patients. If you would like to get rid of your old silver amalgam or gold fillings and would like more information about state-of-the art composite fillings, we invite you to contact our dental care center today. Our cosmetic dentist and entire support team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make the best possible decisions about your dental health.
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