Tooth-Colored Fillings | Florham Park, NJ
Filling Cavities While Creating a Beautiful Smile
A cavity can easily cause you to lose a tooth altogether if the issue is left alone, but a dental filling procedure can stop the decay and repair the damage at the same time. In the past, fillings were only made of silver or other unsightly metals, but now modern cosmetic dentistry has found a better way to treat cavities. Dr. Carollo can use tooth colored fillings that leave you with a more natural-looking smile.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
A tooth-colored filling uses a composite resin made of plastic resins and silica fibers. These materials are able to mimic many of the physical qualities of a natural tooth (such as being somewhat translucent or resisting physical wear and tear). Because of this, not only do they look natural in the mouth, but they can also strengthen teeth that have been weakened by decay.
Nowadays, our practice prefers to use composite resin over metallic fillings for the aesthetic benefits. Many studies have found that tooth-colored fillings are safe, long-lasting and reliable. In addition to cavities, the resin can also repair chips and minor cracks.
How the Procedure Works
The area around the tooth will be numbed, and any decay will be removed. Once these preparations are complete, the resin can be placed into the tooth, where it bonds with the natural structure.
With traditional metal amalgam fillings, undercuts are usually performed to hold the material in place; this means removing enamel and other parts of the tooth, which can leave it weakened and more prone to cracks. A tooth-colored filling, however, physically joins directly with the tooth without the need for undercutting, in many cases ultimately leading to a longer-lasting restoration.
The anesthesia will wear off about one to three hours after the procedure; avoid chewing with the numbed area until then. Afterwards, you might notice some sensitivity to hot, cold or pressure, which can last for a few days; you could also experience soreness and irritation. Any discomfort can be controlled through the use of over-the-counter pain medications; in the meantime, try to avoid foods and drinks that are hot, cold or sweet.
Your composite fillings will be set right away, so you can chew with them as soon as they’re comfortable. Taking care of fillings is a lot like taking care of your natural teeth; brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily are essential. Don’t bite down on ice or other especially hard foods, as they can wear down both your natural tooth and the filling material.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Invisible in the Mouth: As noted above, tooth-colored fillings won’t stand out the way metal amalgam fillings do.
- Easier to Use: The adhesion and flexibility of composite resin reduces the need for drilling.
- Metal-Free: Some patients might have allergies or sensitivities to metal, so tooth-colored fillings are especially useful in such cases.
- Long-Lasting: Take care of your fillings and they can last for about 7 years or longer.