Beautifully & Effectively Repair Your Smile With Tooth-Colored Fillings
If you’ve suffered from cavities, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control among adults aged 20 and older, an estimated 90 percent have had at least one cavity in recent years. Cavities are the most common dental problem, but it’s crucial to have them treated before they can grow.
In the past, metal fillings have been used to repair dental damage such as cavities. However, metal fillings come with a long list of drawbacks that have caused them to fall out of favor. Fortunately, dental advancements have led to the development of tooth-colored fillings, allowing Dr. Hart to repair your smile without metal. Keep reading to learn more about how Dr. Hart can use tooth-colored fillings to beautifully restore your smile.
What Causes Cavities?
When you chew any type of bread, it breaks down into sugars that cling to your teeth. With basic oral hygiene habits, the sugar can be removed. However, if this sugar isn’t removed with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing of your mouth, it attracts bacteria that feed on it, eventually turning to plaque. Plaque is a sticky yellowish or whitish substance that can also be removed with brushing and flossing. However, it has to be removed promptly and it easily gets stuck in areas that are hard to reach without professional help.
When plaque is left on your teeth it can harden into tartar, a substance that’s impossible to remove without professional cleaning. Bacteria that feed on plaque and tartar will produce acid as waste. This acid eats through your enamel, eventually creating holes in your teeth. Fortunately, the damage can usually be repaired and this is where tooth-colored fillings come in.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are dental restorations used to repair damage to your teeth. Much like traditional gold and silver (amalgam) fillings, tooth-colored fillings can treat cavities, chips, cracks, and other forms of dental damage. However, tooth-colored fillings are made of non-metallic materials, usually a mix of resin and powdered quartz, silica, or ceramic.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
While metallic fillings, especially silver, have been useful tools for correcting dental damage for many years, they have caused aesthetic and health concerns for a lot of patients. Tooth-colored fillings come with distinct benefits that have seen them rise in popularity over their metal ancestors. These benefits include:
Match the Color of Your Smile
The main reason tooth-colored fillings are designed to be the same color as your teeth is aesthetics. Your dentist and our team want your fillings to seamlessly blend in with your smile, so you never have to worry about a filling standing out and being obvious to onlookers. This will improve the look of your smile while also treating your cavities.
Dr. Hart may use a curing light to harden the filling and will end the session by polishing it to a smooth finish. The result will be fully-restored teeth that allow you to eat all your favorite foods.
Strengthen Your Teeth
Cavities weaken the durability and structure of the tooth, often resulting in the tooth causing pain when you bite down or suffering reduced functionality as you try to eat and speak. Tooth-colored fillings leave no empty space in your tooth because they completely fill the cavities that threaten it. The result is fully-functional teeth that can withstand the pressure of biting.
Preserve The Structural Integrity of Your Teeth
Both gold and silver fillings will expand and contract upon contact with hot and cold and silver fillings can gradually expand over time, a phenomenon called ‘creep and flow’. Both of these events put excess pressure on the tooth from the inside, weakening its structural integrity.
Additionally, metal fillings require a good portion of your teeth’s natural enamel to be removed to make room for them, causing further damage to the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings won’t expand over time and don’t require an excessive amount of enamel to be removed to make room for them, preserving your tooth’s structural integrity and preventing the tooth from weakening further.
Prevents Galvanic Shock
Galvanic shock occurs when metal fillings interact with other metal dental restorations of differing compositions. This event generates an electric charge and shocks the inside of your mouth. Fortunately, the materials used in tooth-colored fillings are electricity insulators that won’t generate a charge and shock you.
Unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings don’t conduct hot and cold sensations into the nerve, which helps prevent sensitivity. That way, you can comfortably enjoy the foods and drinks you love.
Tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury, a toxic substance that can leak into the mouth in the form of vapor when you bite down on the restoration. People with allergies to gold and silver fillings won’t be able to receive metal fillings due to the risk of reaction. Patients who want to preserve their health would benefit from using tooth-colored fillings due to the absence of these potentially toxic/allergenic metals.
Tooth-colored fillings can be set almost instantly with a specially made, hand-held blue light, unlike metal fillings which often take 12 hours to a full day to harden entirely.
What to Expect From Your Appointment
Fillings are a relatively simple procedure that will typically take only one visit to complete. First, Dr. Hart and her team will apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around the tooth. After Dr. Hart removes all decayed or damaged tooth material, she’ll let you choose from multiple shades of resin to find one that best matches the color of your teeth.
From there, Dr. Hart will apply the resin in layers and use a curing light to harden the filling. She will end the session by polishing the tooth-colored filling to a smooth finish. The result will be fully-restored teeth that allow you to eat all your favorite foods.
Fillings Are An Important Investment In Your Oral Health
If you’re considering avoiding fillings due to cost or dental anxiety, it’s important to realize that they’re an important, long-term investment into your smile. If left untreated, your cavities will very likely expand and spread, wreaking havoc on your smile and causing pain and discomfort. Ultimately, neglecting a cavity can lead to far more costly dental health problems in the future. Investing in tooth-colored fillings sooner rather than later will help you enhance and maintain your oral health and prevent the need for future procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tooth-colored fillings can stain over time. If you want to maintain your restoration, your Pembroke Pines dentist recommends proper oral hygiene, regular dental exams, and avoiding substances that can stain your smile such as:
- Dark berries
- Coffee and tea
The exact cost of your tooth-colored fillings will depend on various factors such as the amount of fillings you need, the extent of the damage, and your dental insurance. We encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. If you need help covering your costs, Sweet Hart Dental proudly offers financing options and new patient specials. We’ll work with you to help you receive the quality treatment you deserve.
Tooth-colored fillings are built to last five to 10 years, but they can last upwards of 10 to 15 years if you practice proper oral hygiene and keep up with your biannual dental appointments. Visiting our Pembroke Pines, FL office at least once every six months will help ensure that cavities are found before they can lead to further problems. Our exams are thorough, and we’ll let you know if we see signs of cavities during your visit.
Tooth-colored fillings harden almost instantaneously, so they don’t require dietary restrictions to ensure they are set properly. However, your dentist, Dr. Hart, and the rest of the team at Sweet Hart Dental highly recommend that you wait until your anesthetic completely wears off before eating anything again. You should especially avoid both foods and drinks that are hot while your anesthetic is still working. Waiting for the anesthetic to wear off will help ensure you don’t burn your mouth or bite down too hard and unknowingly damage your lips, tongue, mouth, or gums.
Count On Dr. Hart to Repair Your Smile With Tooth-Colored Fillings
The longer a cavity goes untreated, the more damage it’s doing to your smile. Rest assured that Dr. Hart can gently and effectively treat cavities with tooth-colored fillings, preserving your oral health while beautifying your smile.
If you’re interested in high-quality, gentle solutions to your dental concerns, including tooth-colored fillings, call us at (954) 437-9288. You can also fill out and submit our contact form and a friendly team member will get back to you soon. Dr. Hart takes pride in offering the safest and most effective treatments for her patients and is proud to offer her ever-expanding expertise to patients from Pembroke Pines, FL and surrounding areas including Hollywood, Davie, and Miramar, FL.