About Tooth-Colored Fillings
One of the most important reasons to schedule an annual dental exam is so your dentist can catch problems, like dental cavities and tooth decay in their early stages. Tooth-colored fillings (also known as composite resin) can fill and seal and area of the tooth that has been infected with a cavity. Tooth-colored fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth, as well as teeth that have become worn our from nail-biting, teeth grinding, and misuse. Unlike older metal fillings (amalgams), tooth-colored fillings are made from a composite resin that can be colored to match the patient' natural teeth for fillings that maintain the appearance of the smile. A filling is a quick, easy in office procedure and with proper care, a tooth-colored filling can last and protect your teeth for about ten years.
What to Expect
A tooth-colored fillings can be performed in the dentist's office with the patient under local anesthesia for any pain and discomfort. Once the patient is prepared, the dentist can use a drill to carefully remove the decayed area of the enamel. Then, the dentist will etch with tooth with an acid gel to help bond the tooth-colored filling when it is placed. The resin is applied and hardened with a special light. The dentist will continue to apply layers of resin and harden them with the light until the tooth is strong and even. Any excess resin can be polished and smoothed with the drill.
Immediately after the filling is placed and dried, the dentist will finish and polish the tooth for smooth edges. Once the anesthesia wears off, patients may notice sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, pressure, and more. This sensitivity is only temporary and should not last more than 1 - 2 weeks. Patients should continue a good home oral care routine, including brushing and flossing, in addition to regular dental exams and cleanings. The dentist will monitor the condition of your filling at each visit and help you determine when you need a replacement.
Most dental insurance companies cover part of the cost of a tooth-colored filling whether it is a new filling or a replacement for an old silver amalgam (metal) filling. Our office will help patients determine their coverage and personal cost during the consultation. Patients who don't have or don't want to use their insurance have several payment and financing options through our office.
Plan Your Procedure
Cavities can happen to anyone, but they don't have to ruin the appearance and function of your teeth with tooth-colored fillings. Resin composite fillings cover areas of tooth decay and strengthen the tooth while matching your natural tooth color to blend seamlessly. Talk to your dentist about how tooth-colored fillings can repair your teeth while keeping your smile beautiful.