Tooth-Colored Fillings – Auburn, ME
The Seamless Solution for Tooth Decay
For generations, dentists relied exclusively on a material known as silver amalgam, a mix of mercury and other metals, to address dental decay. While the amalgam is effective at treating cavities, it has some significant downsides, including the fact that its dark color clashes with that of natural tooth enamel. Today, many dentists have abandoned amalgam fillings altogether and use tooth-colored fillings instead. Keep reading this page to learn more about tooth-colored fillings, how they work, and the numerous benefits they offer.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are made out of a flexible composite resin. The resin contains a mixture of tiny glass particles, plastic, and other materials. It is biocompatible, meaning that it works well with the human body. It is the same material that we use for cosmetic dental bonding. The resin can be shade-matched to blend in with the color of the surrounding dentition. It is an excellent way to treat cases of mild to moderate tooth decay.
How Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Work?
Often, the tooth-colored filling process begins when we numb the tooth we will be working on. However, if a cavity is fairly shallow, local anesthesia is not always necessary. After we ensure your comfort, your dentist prepares the tooth by removing decayed dental tissue from inside the cavity. Next, the resin is placed into the cavity. A special curing light hardens the resin within a matter of seconds. Finally, we adjust the filling’s shape and size so it will not interfere with your bite.
The treatment process is fairly quick. Your appointment may last less than one hour. You will be able to drink and eat immediately after you receive your filling. However, you may find it beneficial to avoid hot, cold, and sticky foods for a few days because your tooth might temporarily be a little extra sensitive.
Do I Need a Tooth-Colored Filling?
Some signs that you may benefit from a tooth-colored filling include:
- A tooth feels extra sensitive or hurts when you chew with it
- You notice a visible hole in a tooth
- You have an old amalgam filling that you would like to have replaced
- Your floss always snags on a particular spot on a tooth
- Food often gets stuck in a specific spot on a tooth
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Of course, the most obvious benefit of tooth-colored fillings is their aesthetic beauty; onlookers are highly unlikely to notice them. Additional advantages of this treatment include:
- They contain no metal, so you will not have to worry if you have allergies or sensitivities to metal
- They are mercury-free (in contrast, metal fillings are about 50% mercury)
- They require less tooth preparation than silver amalgam fillings, allowing you to retain as much of your natural dental structure as possible
- They have the potential to last for several years
- They do not conduct temperatures as readily as metal fillings, so there is a reduced risk of dental sensitivity