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Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are composite resin fillings, ceramic fillings, or other tooth-colored materials inserted into a crack or cavity in your tooth. Composite resin dental fillings look just like actual teeth and blend in with the surrounding enamel, while also covering up the cavity and preventing dental decay or bacterial infection.

During the dental fillings procedure, the dentist removes the damaged or decayed part of the tooth and replaces it with the filling material, saving the tooth from further dental decay and infection. The primary goal of dental composite resin fillings is to restore the appearance and functionality of your teeth.

Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of tooth-colored fillings at Sun Ridge Smiles.

Necessity of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Dental fillings are necessary if the dentist identifies a cavity or decay in your teeth. Cavities are decayed parts of the teeth, generally because of bacterial infection. Initially, a cavity may be so small you won’t even feel it. However, if left untreated, the cavity will expand, the bacterial decay will spread, and it will eventually infect your pulp chamber, endangering your tooth. You can’t feel dental cavities until they’ve grown quite large, which is why you must go for regular dental checkups so they can be identified at an early stage.

The following are some of the primary symptoms of tooth cavities:

  • Toothaches.
  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Presence of a hole in the teeth.
  • Your teeth may be stained black or white.

Dental Fillings Materials

Dental fillings are made of several materials, all of which have their unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. The following is an overview of the various types of dental fillings materials.

Composite Resin Fillings

Resin-based composite fillings are some of the best tooth-colored dental fillings available. At Sun Ridge Smiles, we take impressions of your teeth and use a shade that perfectly corresponds with the color of your original teeth. Composite resin fillings look just like your actual teeth. They don’t have an extremely high life span, but they can be replaced after about five years.

 

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are derived from porcelain, making them extremely hard and durable. They also look just like actual enamel, and they’re stain-resistant. The only issue with ceramic fillings is that they’re quite expensive.

 

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver Amalgam fillings refer to dental fillings made of an amalgamation of minerals like silver, zinc, and copper, with mercury. This material isn’t expensive, and it’s highly durable — the average lifespan of silver amalgam fillings is approximately 15 years. The biggest issue with silver amalgam fillings is that they may expand or contract, thus leading to the formation of yet another cavity in the same place. Furthermore, silver amalgam is also highly visible, and it eventually gets oxidized into a black shade that looks unpleasant. As such, silver amalgam fillings are generally used for some of the deeper teeth that may not be visible.

 

Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass Ionomer Fillings are generally used for children because they have a lifespan shorter than five years. These fillings also release fluoride, which helps children prevent dental decay and infection. Glass ionomer fillings are fairly visible because they’re not tooth-colored, and they’re not durable and may crack upon impact.

 

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are extremely durable and have a lifespan of more than 15 years. However, they’re some of the most expensive dental fillings available because fixing them is complex.

Other Types of Tooth Fillings

In addition to traditional dental fillings, you can also get two other types of dental fillings — indirect fillings and temporary fillings.

Indirect Fillings

Indirect fillings are laboratory-made composite resin fillings. You generally need indirect fillings if the remaining tooth structure after the dental decay is too fragile to support a traditional filling. The two types of indirect fillings — inlays and onlays — have a lifespan of over 30 years, and they can be used on severely damaged teeth.

 

Temporary Fillings

Temporary fillings, as the name suggests, are used for a temporary short-term period, generally a few weeks. Temporary fillings are basically placeholders for permanent dental fillings. After a root canal procedure, the dentist may apply some disinfectant inside the hollow cavity of the tooth — the tooth will then be sealed with a temporary filling while it heals and prepares for the permanent dental filling.

Dental Fillings Procedure

The following is a brief overview of the dental fillings procedure:

  • The dentist numbs your teeth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia.
  • The dentist will use a drill or an air abrasion device to remove the decayed or damaged parts of the tooth.
  • The dentist will probe into the tooth to ensure the decay has been removed, before cleaning the cavity and removing all of the debris.
  • The composite resin dental filling will be painted into the crack or cavity and hardened using a special light.
  • Finally, the dentist will polish the dental filling and remove the extra bits of filling.

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Tooth-Colored Fillings Q&A

What are the advantage of composite fillings?

  • Composite resin looks just like enamel, resembling actual teeth.
  • Composite resin fillings are the most affordable tooth-colored fillings.

How do fillings stop dental carries (cavities)?

During the dental fillings procedure, the dentist removes the decayed or infected parts of the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading. Once the infection has been removed, the dentist inserts the filling inside the tooth to restore its integrity. This prevents further dental decay from entering the tooth, restoring its health.

How long does it take a dental filling to harden?

Composite resin dental fillings set pretty quickly, in about 2 to 20 seconds per layer. Amalgam fillings, in comparison, take anything between 1 hour to 24 hours to harden completely.

 Schedule your Tooth Fillings Appointment

At Sun Ridge Smiles, our highly-trained dentists examine your teeth and cavities to recommend the best and most budget-friendly tooth-colored fillings for your needs. For more information, please schedule an appointment today.