Tooth-colored Fillings Repair Teeth Without Affecting Aesthetics
If your tooth develops a cavity, our doctors can place a tooth-colored filling at our New York office to repair the damage and prevent future decay. Tooth-colored fillings have become far more popular than silver amalgam fillings because they preserve more of your natural tooth and will not damage your tooth over time. They are called tooth-colored or "white" fillings because the material used to fill the tooth is closely matched to the shade of your natural teeth. These fillings blend seamlessly into your smile and are also durable. We are skilled in placing these long-lasting fillings that do not affect the aesthetics of your smile.
What You Need to Know about Tooth-colored Fillings
Dental fillings repair a tooth that has suffered minor damage, usually due to a cavity. They restore structure and effectively seal the tooth, protecting it from harmful bacteria. Traditionally, most fillings were made of metal amalgam. These silver-colored fillings not only marred the appearance of your smile, but they could also cause further damage to the tooth over time. The reason behind this is the expansion and contraction of the metal that occurs with changes in temperature, which can cause sensitivity as well.
Tooth-colored fillings have become far more popular than silver amalgam fillings because they preserve more of your natural tooth and will not damage your tooth over time.
Although metal amalgam is still widely in use, many dentists have shifted to composite resin. This material closely matches the shade of your natural teeth. Composite fillings are also long lasting and do not cause any harm to your tooth over time. With proper care, your tooth-colored filling can last up to 10 years or more.
Dental Filling Process
Dental fillings are relatively simple procedures and can take less than 30 minutes to complete. It is important to note that the extent of decay and location of the decayed tooth can affect the time it takes to place the filling. Your dentist will numb your tooth and gums to ensure your comfort. Once you are numb, your dentist will carefully remove the decayed areas of your tooth. Then he or she will fill the missing areas of the tooth with the composite resin. A UV light is used to harden each filling. When this is complete, your dentist will file down the fillings so they do not affect your bite.
Tooth-colored fillings are often an outstanding way to repair minor to moderate tooth damage without compromising appearance.
How to Tell if You May Need a Filling
Tooth-colored fillings are appropriate for most patients with mild to moderate tooth decay. If you experience any signs of a cavity, you should contact our office right away for an appointment. Your dentist can conduct a thorough examination and determine if a filling is appropriate. Symptoms of a cavity may include:
- A toothache or tooth sensitivity
- Pain in the tooth when eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Stains on the tooth that appear brown, black, or white
- Pain when biting down
Cavities typically do not present any symptoms when they first form. The best way to detect a cavity is through biannual dental exams.
Why We Place Only Tooth-colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings offer a variety of benefits over amalgam fillings. Aesthetically, they do not affect the appearance of your smile. More importantly, however, they keep more of your natural tooth intact and do not cause any further damage to the tooth. Composite resin is also nontoxic. Tooth-colored fillings are a relatively conservative treatment that can prevent the need for more extensive and costly restorations in the future.
When you receive a tooth-colored filling from Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, your tooth will be restored to health and will also look completely natural. If you have any symptoms of a cavity, contact our dental office today to schedule your appointment.