Traditionally, dental fillings were made of metal, but these dark fillings can be quite noticeable in the mouth. Due to advances in restorative dentistry, patients are now able to choose tooth-colored fillings. Composite resin, or tooth-colored, fillings closely resemble your tooth color, and are far less conspicuous. If you have cavities and are interested in tooth-colored fillings, contact our Idaho Falls, ID-area dental practice today. At your consultation, Dr. Mark Tall can address your questions and concerns about dental fillings.
As tooth enamel erodes, decays, or becomes chipped and worn, the outer layer of protection must be repaired. Placing tooth-colored fillings is a quick, comfortable, and highly effective way to restore your teeth, without compromising aesthetics. During this procedure, we first remove the decay and damaged tissue, as well as clean the affected tooth.
Since tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the surface of the tooth, it is a more conservative treatment method when compared to metal. The hole required to place silver fillings is larger, requiring greater alteration of the tooth.
We then etch the surface of the tooth for optimal bonding. The filling material is then placed within the tooth, and after precisely shaping the material, is hardened using a special light. Dr. Tall will make sure that your bite is comfortable and accurate, before smoothing and polishing the filling to finalize the procedure.
Tooth-colored fillings are quickly replacing metal as our patient's favorite dental filling choice, for a variety of reasons:
Aesthetically-pleasing: Tooth-colored fillings provide a natural look that is nearly indistinguishable from your original teeth. They can be placed on the top or bottom teeth, without compromising the overall appearance of your smile. Regardless of where the filling is needed, the restoration will blend.
Conservative approach: Since tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the surface of the tooth, it is a more conservative treatment method when compared to metal. The hole required to place silver fillings is larger, requiring greater alteration of the tooth.
Durability: Metal amalgam fillings expand and contract with changing temperatures, which can weaken and damage the tooth over time. Tooth-colored fillings, on the other hand, experience virtually no change when exposed to heat or cold.
Mercury-free: Tooth-colored fillings are thought to be a healthier alternative, as traditional amalgam contains trace amounts of mercury. However, the FDA states that, to date, no evidence exists to establish any association between metal fillings and adverse health effects.
Minimized pain: Patients have reported less pain and tooth sensitivity after having tooth-colored fillings placed when compared to silver fillings.
If you have mild to moderate tooth decay, you are most likely a good candidate for tooth-colored dental fillings. However, if you have a badly infected tooth, you may require root canal therapy and a dental crown to restore your tooth to optimal oral health. Dr. Tall will complete a thorough examination of your teeth at your initial appointment, so that the best course of treatment is selected.
In the past, dark fillings have made otherwise healthy teeth appear decayed or unattractive. Fortunately, advances in restorative dentistry now allow for healthier, natural-looking dental fillings. To learn more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, including aesthetic appeal and health benefits, contact us today.