Benefits of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings

Aug 31, 2021

Decades ago, patients seeking dental restoration after tooth decay had to contend with limited options in the form of metal fillings. While these materials got the job done as far as restoring dental function, they did nothing for the smile’s aesthetics. Metal fillings are easily noticeable and can cause tooth discoloration. It’s no surprise therefore that patients have increasingly warmed up to tooth-colored fillings.

As their name suggests, tooth-colored fillings blend in well with the color of the surrounding teeth. As a result, they offer excellent aesthetics and are ideal for restoring decayed, chipped, worn, and cracked teeth.

If you’re interested in white tooth fillings and are looking for a reputable dental office that provides the same, please get in touch with Newburyport Family Dental to speak to our dentist.

Direct Vs. Indirect Tooth Fillings

Tooth fillings are categorized as either direct or indirect. Direct tooth fillings are applied directly to a damaged tooth. If you have minor cavities, direct tooth fillings can rebuild your dental function and appearance.

Indirect fillings are fabricated inside a dental lab from your dental impressions. Indirect fillings are preferred for moderate cavities, where a simple white tooth filling isn’t sufficient to get the job done. Indirect fillings are otherwise known as inlays and onlays.

What Are White Tooth Fillings Made Of?

Indirect and direct tooth-colored dental fillings are usually made of silica, plastic, and glass material, or composite resin.

In addition, white tooth fillings can also be made of glass ionomer or ceramic. Glass ionomer fillings consist of acrylic and a special type of glass that releases fluoride.

Fluoride is a crucial mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, preventing further decay. Your dentist may prefer glass ionomer material for fillings below your gumline. The dentist may use the glass ionomer to line the tooth and then fill the rest of it with a different material.

Ceramic or porcelain fillings resist stains better than composite resin fillings. However, porcelain fillings may not be ideal for individuals who grind their teeth.

White Tooth Fillings Step-by-Step Procedure

Here’s what to expect during your white tooth filling appointment:

  • The dentist numbs the damaged or decayed tooth using local anesthesia. If you experience fear or anxiety during dental visits, you might want to discuss your sedation options prior to this first step.
  • After numbing the tooth and surrounding areas, the dentist uses a laser or a dental drill to get rid of all decayed portions of the tooth.
  • The dentist cleans out the cavity to eliminate bacteria and debris.
  • The dentist pours the composite resin material into the tooth in layers and uses a curing light to harden each layer. Then, after a careful multilayering process, the dentist polishes the composite resin material to achieve the finished look.
  • In the case of indirect fillings (inlays and onlays), the dentist takes your dental impressions after cleaning out the cavity. These impressions are shared with the dental lab which crafts your indirect restorations from composite resin material. On your subsequent appointment, the dentist cements the inlays and onlays to your damaged teeth.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

White or composite resin fillings offer numerous significant advantages to patients experiencing tooth decay and other forms of damage. These include:

• Fillings can be matched to surrounding teeth, making them ideal for easily noticeable or visible teeth.
• Composite resin fillings are chemically bonded to teeth, which reinforces the damaged teeth.
• They’re versatile and can rebuild decayed, chipped, cracked, and worn teeth.
• Composite resin fillings don’t require extensive enamel removal, as is usually the case with silver fillings.
• Glass ionomer fillings remineralize the tooth structure, lowering the risk of further decay.

Do Fillings Require Replacement?

Over time, dental fillings may become worn. Composite resin fillings tend to last five to seven years before requiring replacement. Porcelain fillings can last up to 15 years. Ultimately, your fillings’ lifespan depends on the amount and type of care you give them, among other patient-specific factors. Scheduling regular dental exams at Newburyport Family Dental allows our dentists to detect wear and tear and recommend replacement in good time.

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Tooth decay and other common types of dental damage can be easily resolved via straightforward and non-invasive restorative procedures.

Are you looking for a reputable, conveniently located, family-friendly dental office that’s well-versed in dental fillings and other forms of restorative dentistry? Please call Newburyport Family Dental to arrange an appointment with our experienced dentists near you.

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