Preventing the Progression of Decay
Tooth Coloured Fillings
Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.
Development of resin-based fillers, otherwise known as composite, allowed the development of what we know today as white fillings. The use of these materials has made it possible to restore defective teeth back to their original shape and colour. Modern composite fillings have excellent durability and colour stability properties and are the common material used for the restoration of cavities in the teeth.
Many people have amalgam (silver) fillings which have progressively blackened over time and caused the tooth to become stained. Although amalgam has been used for many years and is a functional material it does have several disadvantages. The most obvious problem is its unsightly appearance and toxicity.
What is Involved in having a White Tooth Coloured Filling?
It is a very similar process to having an amalgam (silver coloured) filling. You will have the area numbed with a local anaesthetic before the tooth is prepared (eg removing decay or old fillings, sometimes weakened parts of the tooth are also removed at this stage).
Once the tooth has been prepared a filling material to match your tooth shade as closely as possible will be placed. A curing light (very small, hand-held light) is used to set the filling. The filling is then finished to a high standard by trimming/filing and polishing so it fits with your bite as if it was a whole natural tooth.
White fillings and teeth whitening
The shade of your tooth coloured filling is matched to your current tooth shade. So, if you are having a tooth coloured filling placed, be sure to have teeth whitening first and then the filling can be matched to your new shade.
Alternative to White Fillings
A more long-lasting and better solution for large composite fillings may be a tooth coloured crown (cap) or a tooth coloured porcelain inlay. All of these are made by a dental technician and usually takes two visits to complete.
Composite bonding is the most conservative of all cosmetic treatments using tooth coloured filling materials. It involves minimum alteration to your original tooth and the results are seen immediately allowing us to dramatically improve your smile very often in one dental visit.
Tooth Coloured Filling Before & After
How Large Are White Fillings
Depending on the size of your amalgam fillings, we can replace it in a variety of ways. If the filling is small and the tooth needs a direct restoration, we’ll replace the amalgam filling with a tooth-coloured one. This can be done in one appointment. If your filling is larger, we recommend something called an indirect restoration. This is when your amalgam filling is replaced using a very strong tooth-coloured dental inlay or an onlay.
The indirect restorations are made of gold, porcelain or a processed composite resin. Depending on where in your mouth the restoration will be, you can choose whichever material you wish. The process of doing an indirect restoration takes two appointments.
Change Your Smile
What is the Difference Between Tooth coloured and Composite Dental Fillings?
Composite dental fillings are just one type of tooth-colored fillings available to you. While they are typically used interchangeably, there is more than one way to receive a tooth-colored or natural-looking filling. Natural-looking ones are typically made of resin, ceramic, plastic, or glass ionomer, the most common being composite resin. All are effective, but glass ionomer lasts the least amount of time since the material is more fragile.
Special Care For Composite White Fillings
you need to care for your fillings just like you do your other teeth. You need to brush at least twice a day and floss on a daily basis. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste since this can help to further strengthen your teeth and prevent further decay. In some cases, we may even recommend a fluoride treatment in our dental office. You should also be careful to avoid doing anything that could damage your teeth and wear a mouthguard if applicable. Keep in mind that a filling is there to restore your tooth structure both in appearance and in functionality. This means we are not trying to restrict your activities or even what you can eat. Instead, we place fillings to ensure your life is not interrupted and you can return to your normal daily activities quickly.
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