Composite Resin (Fillings) aka Tooth-Colored Fillings

Today, more patients ask their dentists about white fillings because they want their teeth to look natural when they laugh, talk and smile. White fillings, also called composite fillings, are made from tooth-colored materials that restore the natural appearance of a decayed or previously filled tooth.

A composite filling usually requires only one visit, during which the tooth is prepared and restored. An advantage of composite fillings, as compared with other dental restorations, is that they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place. This is due to composite materials’ ability to bond to teeth adhesively.

Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-color resin material is applied and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth to restore and improve your smile. Bonding is used to repair decaying teeth, repair chipped or cracked teeth, improve appearance, close spaces between teeth, change the shape of teeth, and to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.

White fillings, like other dental materials, may require periodic replacement. If the edge of the filling eventually pulls away from the tooth, bacteria can get between the filling and the enamel and eventually may cause decay. Tooth decay over time may develop elsewhere on the tooth. Regular dental checkups are important because they allow the dentist to detect a problem in the early stage.

Indirect dental fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges. During the first visit, Dr. Roseroot prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. Dr. Roseroot then places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, the restoration is cemented into the prepared cavity and adjusted as needed.

Composites are preferable for obvious cosmetic reasons, but if the decayed area is large or is subject to heavy chewing pressure, your dentist may recommend another type of material or restoration. Some people may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures in the newly filled tooth for a few days or as long as a week. If the sensitivity continues beyond that time, contact your dentist.

Before your treatment begins, Dr. Roseroot will discuss with you all of your options including the health value of using mercury-free fillings.

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