When you have a tooth with mild to moderate decay, your dentist may recommend a filling to repair any cavities. Dr. Bruce Wilderman uses the latest technology and offers tooth-colored fillings at his Philadelphia, PA-area, practice to restore the structural integrity and health of your tooth while preserving a natural-looking aesthetic. Made from composite resin, tooth-colored fillings offer greater benefits than traditional amalgam fillings. These long-lasting restorations are a simple and affordable way to restore your oral health.
What is a Tooth-Colored Filling?
A tooth-colored filling is made from composite resin, a material that combines glass and plastic. This material is used to fill small holes, or cavities, in your teeth that occur when plaque buildup begins to eat away at the enamel of your tooth. If left untreated, tooth decay will continue to penetrate the tooth, which could lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and more costly restorative treatments.
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Wilderman uses composite resin to repair a tooth affected by minor to moderate tooth decay and prevent further decay from compromising the structural integrity of the tooth. If the tooth decay is more extensive, Dr. Wilderman will typically place a dental crown to repair the tooth instead of filling the cavity.
Composite Resin v. Amalgam Fillings
Compared to silver amalgam fillings, tooth-colored restorations provide more benefits, including:
- Safer materials: Traditional amalgam fillings are made with trace amounts of mercury and other metals. While the American Dental Association (ADA) has determined that amalgam fillings are safe, composite resin fillings are generally considered a good alternative for patients who have metal sensitivities.
- More effective treatment: Amalgam fillings require some removal of healthy tooth structure to ensure a proper and lasting bond. Composite resin fillings, however, require less removal of the tooth's surface.
- Longer-lasting restorations: Because the metals in amalgam can expand and contract with temperature changes, silver amalgam can ultimately cause structural damage to your tooth over time and may need to be replaced to prevent serious damage.
- More aesthetically pleasing: Composite resin can be tinted to match the color of your natural tooth and blends seamlessly with your smile.
Made from composite resin, tooth-colored fillings offer greater benefits than traditional amalgam fillings. These long-lasting restorations are a simple and affordable way to restore your oral health.
Tooth-Colored Filling Procedure
A dental filling procedure consists of five easy steps that are typically completed in less than an hour:
- Anesthesia: Before beginning the procedure, Dr. Wilderman will numb the tooth and surrounding tissue with a local anesthetic. If you struggle with dental anxiety, please make our staff aware so we can provide you with the additional care you need.
- Decay removal: Once you are completely comfortable, Dr. Wilderman will use special tools to gently remove the unhealthy portions from the tooth.
- Preparation: After the decayed tissue has been removed, the dentist will thoroughly clean and dry the tooth before applying the composite resin.
- Composite resin application: Dr. Wilderman can then fill the space left by the cavity with composite resin that is tinted to match the color of your tooth. A special curing light activates and hardens the composite resin for a strong restoration.
- Polish: Finally, Dr. Wilderman will check your bite, trim any excess resin, and polish the tooth for a smooth and seamless finish. The treated area will feel numb for a few hours following the procedure.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
The best way to prevent further tooth decay from developing is establishing a good oral healthcare regimen. This can be achieved by simply brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. It is also imperative that you visit the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and examination. Preventative care is the easiest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are experiencing tooth pain or any kind of dental sensitivity, you may have a cavity. Call our office at (215) 340-1199 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Dr. Wilderman can diagnose any cavities you may have and restore your tooth to its full function using aesthetically pleasing tooth-colored fillings.