Almost every adult and many children will have to face getting a filling at some point in their lives. In fact, dental caries—or dental decay—is one of the most common health issues dentists face in their practices.
In the past, options for filling teeth and preventing the decay from spreading were limited to metal amalgam fillings. These gray-colored restorations did the trick, but they are far from aesthetic. Today, we offer tooth-colored fillings at our Springfield, OR dental office, and these are not only effective at preventing tooth decay from getting larger, but they blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth color.
The Tooth-Colored Filling Process
Getting a tooth-colored filling isn’t that much different from getting an amalgam filling—except you will probably have to spend less time in the dental chair. Your dentist will not have to remove as much of the tooth structure to make room for the tooth-colored filling, so there is less drilling.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings not only look better than amalgam fillings, but they provide patients with other benefits as well:
- Because the composite material they are made of bonds directly to the tooth, less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. This makes them a more conservative restoration, and patients appreciate that there is less prep.
- Applied to the tooth structure in layers, composite fillings are also strong and durable.
- Composite fillings are less likely to expand and contract with heat and cold, unlike their amalgam counterparts. This means that teeth treated with a composite filling are less likely to fracture, making them safer.
- There is also less sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages with composite fillings.
- Amalgam fillings tend to gradually change the color of the tooth they have filled over time; this does not happen with tooth-colored fillings.
- They can be custom shaded to match your tooth perfectly.
Other Uses for Composite Fillings
Since composite fillings can be made to match the color of the tooth they are restoring, they are ideal for decay that may occur in the front of the mouth.
Composite fillings are also used cosmetically in a process called cosmetic bonding. This is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures available. With this process, we can fix minor chips, gaps, or discoloration, and we can do it in just one appointment. The entire procedure only takes about 30 minutes to an hour to repair one tooth.
Contact Our Dental Office to Find Out More
If you suspect you have tooth decay, or if you have old metal amalgam fillings you would like to have replaced with tooth-colored fillings, contact our Eugene, OR dental office to make an appointment. We look forward to helping you smile again with confidence!