In the past, the words, “You have a cavity,” were a lot scarier than they are these days. That’s because the dentist used to have to fill your cavity with metal, which noticeably marred your smile. Those days are long gone now, thanks to tooth-colored fillings. Now, our dentists can seamlessly heal your smile with a filling made of a composite resin material that can be custom shaded to match the existing enamel of your pearly whites so they don’t stand out. If you have a cavity or a noticeable metal filling you’d like replaced with a tooth-colored alternative, contact Anderson Family Dental today to book an appointment.
Instead of metal, tooth-colored fillings are made of a composite resin material, which is essentially a mixture of glass and plastic that can be matched to the color of your tooth enamel. Trace amounts of metal, like gold, copper, and cobalt, are used to give color to the mixture, while zirconium and titanium oxides add opacity.
Tooth-colored fillings have multiple advantages over amalgam, or metal, fillings, such as:
First, we will carefully remove all decayed material from the tooth. Usually, no local anesthetic is required. Then, we’ll clean your tooth and apply a primer, or weak acid, to the area to allow the pores in the enamel to open up and receive the bonding agent. Next, layer by layer, the filling material is applied to the tooth, making sure the color matches the enamel. The material is sculpted into the perfect shape. Finally, the composite resin is hardened with a curing light in just seconds, and then polished and smoothed, and voila! Your smile is seamlessly healed!
To keep your tooth-colored fillings white and healthy, you’ll need to stay on top of your basic oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Make a habit of flossing at least once a day, ideally right before bedtime. Since your fillings are able to become stained as easily as your natural tooth enamel, limit your consumption of foods and beverages like coffee, wine, dark teas and sodas, and berries. It’s also a good idea to stay away from sugary foods and drinks in general. Finally, make sure to visit us every six months for a checkup and cleaning to make sure your fillings are still in good shape!