Tooth Colored Fillings
Composite vs Amalgam FillingsEven with good oral hygiene practices, you may still experience some form of tooth decay. That is why it is so important to schedule regular checkups and professional cleanings. During your checkup, we will diagnose instances of decay and determine the right method of treatment. If the decay has formed a mild to significant cavity, we may recommend a dental filling. At Cooley Smiles, we offer tooth-colored fillings for patients in need of an aesthetically-pleasing restoration.
The Process of Receiving a Tooth Colored FillingTooth-colored fillings are made using a putty-like material known as composite resin. To receive a tooth colored filling, the tooth must undergo a minor preparation. During preparation, Aaron Cooley, DDS will isolate the tooth from the saliva to keep it dry. Next, we will use a drill to remove the decayed material from the tooth. After the decayed material has been removed, we will clean and dry the cavity. The composite resin is then placed into the cavity in a series of layers. Each layer is intermittently hardened using a special curing light. Once the cavity is filled, we will trim the excess to match the shape of your existing tooth. To complete the procedure, we will polish the composite resin to match the sheen of your natural enamel.
Amalgam Vs. Composite ResinPlacing composite resin does require a little more time in the dental chair than an amalgam (silver filling). However, most patients are incredibly pleased with the results! Patients often choose composite resin for aesthetic purposes. Beyond aesthetics, we may recommend a tooth-colored filling for some other reasons.
Amalgam fillings require the removal of more healthy tooth enamel than composite resin. This is because amalgam does not bond directly to the tooth. Amalgam also tends to expand or contract when exposed to extreme temperatures. This can cause the tooth to crack or the filling to slip out. Composite resin not only tolerates certain temperatures better, but it also insulates the tooth from these temperatures. Patients with amalgam fillings may experience sensitivity issues when they eat or drink something that is hot or cold.
There are certain situations where amalgam may be the ideal choice. Amalgam has a proven track record for over 150 years. It is a stable filling material that can withstand even the strongest forces of your bite. In some circumstances, we may recommend amalgam for severe cavities in the posterior region of your mouth. Your molars and premolars often require a particularly durable restoration. We also offer inlays and onlays as an effective alternative to amalgam fillings.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored FillingsAesthetics is the main advantage of tooth-colored fillings. Resin composite can be shaded and shaped to match your natural tooth enamel. It also bonds to the enamel, which provides additional support for a compromised tooth structure. Recent advancements in technology and techniques have improved the durability of composite resin. Under the right care and maintenance, your tooth colored filling can last upwards of ten years!
Schedule Your AppointmentDo not let tooth decay ruin your smile! Call (425) 320-5000 to schedule your appointment today!