- by Dr. Karanjit Dhillon
- August 29, 2022
Are you wondering which is the best type of tooth filling for you?
Has your dentist told you that you have cavities that need to be filled?
We are here to help you make an informed decision.
Dental cavities are a common problem affecting almost 90% of adults during their lifetime at least once. They are generally treated with dental fillings.
There have been many new innovations as far as dental fillings are concerned to offer patients more choices to treat tooth decay.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
An ingenious new version of the conventional metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings are Dental restorations that are designed to appear more natural as they incorporate well with the teeth and look more realistic whereas amalgam fillings are darker and more evident.
Made of a composite resin material that has the ability to chemically bond to the teeth, they are also known as Composite fillings and are used to fill and close off a cavity after removing the decayed part and also help to repair chipped or broken teeth.
They are usually used to treat the teeth closest to the front of the mouth which are more visible.
However, thanks to the latest progress in technology and the improved composition of composite fillings, dentists are quite commonly using tooth-colored fillings on molars too, which receive more wear and pressure than other teeth.
Procedure for Tooth-Colored Fillings
The procedure of tooth-colored fillings is an outpatient procedure that is performed in a dental office. An expert dental professional should perform the procedure which is as follows:
- To begin with, the options for the filling type best suited for the patient are discussed with the patient’s shade of the composite to be used in the filling.
- The dentist then administers a local anesthetic to numb the tooth & surrounding areas. Removing the decay, usually using a dental drill, a strong and substantial tooth structure is left behind.
- The cavity is then prepared for the filling material to be placed by cleaning, disinfecting, and drying it completely. Some tooth shaving may be needed for severely damaged teeth at this juncture.
- The filling is shaped to repair and reconstruct the shape of the tooth and then cured with light to harden it. The dentist then checks the bite to ensure that the restoration is correct and comfortable.
- This is followed by Contouring and polishing to give you a well-restored tooth that has a natural appearance.
The dental expert at Morgan Hill Dentistry provides adequate after-the-procedure instructions to the patients and they are advised to avoid eating or drinking for 2–3 hours after the procedure.
It is important to understand that some patients may feel some sensitivity for a few days after the procedure.
It is normal and should go away in some days. However, any excruciating pain or the filling that does not feel right or the bite that is not comfortable should be reported to the dentist immediately.
Types of Tooth Coloured Dental fillings
Nowadays there are many options of dental fillings available to patients to choose from to fill a cavity.
However, tooth-colored fillings are the most popular choice because of their discreet result.
Our dental experts at Morgan Hill Dentistry, however, explain that metal filling may be a better choice for some patients and the most suitable choice can be made by the dentist after taking into consideration factors like age, dental history, and the location of the tooth affected.
A tooth-colored material gives a more natural-looking result and is chosen by most patients especially to repair the front, more visible teeth. However, if the decay is not too bad, then these materials can be used in the back of the mouth also.
Materials used to make Tooth-coloured fillings include:
- Porcelain/ceramic is usually used on exposed tooth areas.
- Resin composite (a combination of porcelain and plastic) also for exposed areas.
- Glass ionomer (a mixture of acrylic and glass, infused with fluoride) is generally used for the decay below the gumline.
Advantages of Tooth-Coloured Fillings
There are several advantages of tooth-colored fillings:
- They provide a Quick Treatment option with a quick and painless procedure that takes even less than an hour to treat one to two cavities. Our efficient and experienced team can in most cases place, cure and polish a filling in less than half an hour after the anesthesia sets in.
- Aesthetically a better option as it easily blends in with the natural teeth making it inconspicuous, giving you a white sparkling tooth and a confident smile
- Tooth-colored fillings are a durable and long-lasting option that can last for 10 years or more with proper care of teeth and gums like brushing and flossing twice daily and getting a dental cleaning every six months.
- Tooth-colored fillings help to retain and preserve more of the natural tooth structures as the composite resin used in tooth-colored fillings bonds to the teeth, doing away with the need to remove lots of natural tooth structures, as is needed with silver amalgam or gold fillings.
- Silver amalgam fillings contain some amount of Mercury, a toxic material, though in a very low quantity which is not considered dangerous to health. However, many patients like a mercury-free option which is provided by tooth-colored fillings.
Cost of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The cost of a composite resin filling depends on many factors. Usually, it is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia but some patients with dental anxiety or gag reflex may opt for sedation, which can increase the cost of the procedure. The amount of decay is another factor that affects the cost of the treatment.
However, we must mention that treating a cavity with filling on time is always cheaper than treating the serious issues which may arise because of neglecting them.
A Word from Morgan Hill Dentistry
Our team at Morgan Hill Dentistry has been restoring many precious smiles and completely natural looks using Tooth Coloured Fillings.
We have substantial experience and expertise in treating tooth decay and cavities. Our staff makes sure that our patients are most comfortable and informed before getting in the chair.
Call for an appointment and allow us to put that smile back right where it belongs, your face!