Tooth-Colored FillingsSuffolk, VA
Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular as treatments like tooth-colored fillings make natural-looking smiles possible. Modern dental advancements in materials and techniques have allowed for more aesthetically pleasing without mitigating the functionality and effectiveness of treatments. Traditional metal, silver, and gold fillings do not only show when laughing, talking, and eating but were also uncomfortable and bulky.
Tooth-colored fillings are widely requested and can often replace traditional fillings. We offer tooth-colored fillings for children and adolescents to treat their cavities, protect their teeth, and improve their appearance. To learn more about tooth-colored fillings or schedule an appointment, call us at (757) 767-2767, and we will set you up with a consultation.
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings come in a variety of shades of white, ranging from bright white to a dull whitish-yellow,categorized by a letter and number. The dentist will use a shade chart with sample teeth from A1 to D4 and examine the shade closest to the surrounding teeth.
The treatment process of tooth-colored fillings is similar to traditional silver fillings. Tooth-colored fillings may take a little more time as the tooth must be isolated and kept from saliva and bacteria.
After application of Local anesthetic with profound anesthesia established, isolation of tooth from surrounding saliva is very important. Removal of tooth decay, application of a tooth etchant to remove the smear layer, rinsing and application of dentinal bond to wet dentinal tubule, curing tooth area with a wave length curing light and application of layers of composite with intermittent curing enables us to restore decayed teeth with composite filling .
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The most distinguishing advantage of tooth-colored fillings is their natural, aesthetic appearance. The composite material chemically bonds to the tooth enamel and dentin, providing support to the tooth surface. Additionally composite fillings are durable and can last as long as amalgam fillings if properly taken care of
Tooth colored fillings are versatile, meaning composites can also help repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth. Another advantage they hold is tooth-sparing preparation; because of their bonding capability, less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgams when removing decay.
A major difference between tooth-colored fillings and traditional amalgam fillings is the chemical bonding factor. The composite resin essentially melts into the little crevices of the once-decayed area and become part of the tooth. The American Dental Association attests that tooth-colored fillings “provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to midsize fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing.” Composite fillings are FDA approved because of their high strength. Although composite fillings are durable, excessive biting and grinding or poor maintenance may wear the material.
Maintenance and Replacement
Proper oral care and maintenance is crucial in preserving tooth-colored fillings, as with all other types of fillings. The Journal of the ADA states, “If the edge of the filling eventually pulls away from the tooth, bacteria can get between the filling and the enamel and eventually may cause decay.” Aggressive brushing, biting, grinding, and clenching can also cause the material to erode over time. Patients should avoid eating or crushing hard foods, such as ice and nutshells, that can crack or break tooth structure.
Tooth-colored fillings can replace small to medium-sized decay or old amalgam fillings. Patients with composite fillings should replace them if they become cracked, or broken with open margins. Discolored and stained composite fillings may be decayed and should be examined to determine the need for replacement. Fillings are examined with all other teeth during semi-annual checkups to assess durability and functionality.
Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment
Tooth-colored fillings are done in just one visit! We look forward to meeting your little one and restoring their smile and confidence. Call us now at (757) 767-2767to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth-Colored Fillings
Can tooth-colored fillings become stained or discolored?
Over time, tooth-colored fillings can become stained or turn yellow. Discoloration does not necessarily mean decay and in need of replacement. We will inspect the tooth and ensure the composite is intact and well-sealed.
Can a tooth-colored filling last longer than the average five years?
The composite material in tooth-colored fillings is durable and long-lasting if they are well-maintained. The chemical bonding factor allows the material to become a part of the tooth, which makes it less susceptible to damage without excessive force. Many patients have maintained their composite fillings for close to ten years.
Do tooth-colored fillings last as long as amalgam fillings?
Since amalgam fillings use metal alloy, they offer a stronger resistance to damage. These are primarily used in larger cavities or decayed teeth. However, bits of the metal may deteriorate or erode over time, allowing bacteria to travel through the tooth and cause decay.
Are tooth-colored fillings chemically safe?
Most composite resin material is free of BPA and all are mercury-free. The FDA maintains that composite materials containing Bis-GMA, a form of BPA, are safe as they induce similar effects as natural estrogen in the body. Composite material are free of toxic chemicals and is safe to use on young children.
What are disadvantages of tooth-colored fillings?
One disadvantage of tooth-colored fillings is their longevity. Although they are durable and meant to last, they do not tend to last as long as amalgam fillings but are more effective in preventing further decay. Another disadvantage is they are not recommended for larger cavities as they are not as strong as amalgam in covering a big area.
Are there different types of tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings can be made of composite, glass ionomer material and resin modified glass ionomer. Composite is the most commonly used because of its durability and longevity. Glass ionomer fillings are the least common type of fillings; they are translucent and release small amounts of fluoride to prevent decay, but they also do not last as long as composite.
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