In the past, teeth that had cavities were filled with amalgam (silver fillings). Today, durable tooth-colored fillings are the material of choice that can be bonded to the tooth for a more natural look.
Tooth-colored fillings are safe, predictable and aesthetic!
What Are Tooth Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are made of “composite” which is a blend of plastic resins and resin fillers. They are used to fill in the cavity left by tooth decay. They are durable and can withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing on front and back teeth.
The color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of your tooth which allows these fillings to blend right in.
Why Would You Need A Tooth-Colored Filling?
The two common reasons a tooth would need to be restored with a composite is decay and/or chipping.
The Process of Filling a Tooth:
The tooth-colored fillings are completed in one visit.
To fill a cavity or repair a chip, first your dentist will numb the tooth and gums in the area with local anesthetic. It usually takes 10-15 minutes for the numbing to take full effect. Once you are adequately numb and completely comfortable, the tooth is “prepared” by removing the decay/damaged/infected area of the tooth. The tooth is then cleaned. Next, the filling material is placed directly into the “hole” that has been left by the tooth decay. Then the composite resin is cured with a special UV light. The composite tightly bonds, chemically and mechanically, to the tooth structure.
Your dentist will follow-up by smoothing and shaping the material to maintain your natural bite.
How long should the fillings last:
If you properly care for your teeth, gums and fillings, your tooth-colored fillings could last for 10 or more years. No dental fillings last forever. Make sure to brush twice a day, floss daily and get a dental exam and cleaning every six months.
Having a cavity filled with a tooth-colored filling is a quick and painless treatment.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!