We use this material for both cosmetic bonding and fillings.Most people will need to have a filling at some point in their life because of tooth decay. For many years, the most common type of filling was the silver amalgam filling, easily recognizable by its telltale gray color. These fillings were adequate in preventing tooth decay from spreading, but they were not very attractive.
But now, a more esthetic filling is available that matches the natural color and appearance of the tooth. These tooth-colored fillings blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth color.
Tooth-colored fillings have other uses as well. They can be used to repair chipped teeth, close up gaps between teeth, and even make teeth appear straighter or more even. We use this material for both cosmetic bonding and fillings.
At White Smiles Family Dental, we only use white filling material to restore teeth. Also called composite or white fillings, these resin-based restorations are durable and a much more attractive alternative to the old mercury-based fillings. They can also be used to replace your old amalgam fillings if you still have them.
The Process of Filling a Tooth
Whatever the reason you need to have a tooth filled or restored, the procedure starts with your dentist numbing the area. Next, the tooth is prepared by removing the decay or damage, and then the filling material is placed into the tooth so it can bond with the tooth structure.
With amalgam fillings, it was necessary to remove more of the healthy tooth structure to help hold the material in place. As time went on, the tooth was more prone to cracking because it was structurally weakened.
Composite fillings don’t require the same kind of preparation to bond to the tooth. Less of the healthy tooth structure needs to be removed for this type of filling, making the treatment more conservative and the restoration longer lasting. Because the materials used for composite fillings bonds directly to the tooth structure, this strengthens the tooth and provides additional support.
How to Care for Tooth-Colored Fillings
There is no difference when it comes to caring for your tooth-colored filling as opposed to an amalgam filling. Right after you get the filling, you can brush and floss just as you normally would. You can eat and drink without issue as well (although you should definitely wait until the anesthetic wears off to prevent biting your tongue or the inside of your mouth!).
Although some patients have some sensitivity in the tooth right after it is filled, this is not unusual or anything to be alarmed about. If the sensitivity doesn’t go away on its own in a few days, just give us a call. In the meantime, you can try a desensitizing toothpaste until the feeling has dissipated.
As always, visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups and teeth cleanings. We also advise most of our patients to get dental x-rays at least once a year.
If you are due for a checkup or you think you might have a cavity that needs to be filled, give us a call. We look forward to seeing you!