What is a Cavity?
Our teeth are covered by a sticky coating of bacteria called plaque. When plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it can turn the sugar from the food you eat into acid, which can break down the structure of your teeth. If this process continues, a hole can form in the tooth, called a cavity. Fillings are used to fill in cavities and protect the tooth from further damage.
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are dental fillings that match the natural color of your teeth. They are a popular alternative to amalgam or “silver” fillings, and may also be able to better preserve the tooth’s structure. Tooth-colored fillings are made up of plastic resins and silica fillers, which mimic the qualities of natural tooth structure. Many patients prefer tooth-colored fillings, especially when a filling is near the front of the mouth, where a silver filling would be more noticeable!
How are Tooth-Colored Fillings Placed?
A filling is placed through a series of steps. First, the area will be numbed with anesthesia, and the decay will be removed from the tooth. The filling material will then be placed into the tooth, and it will be bonded to the tooth using a strong curing light for a long-lasting restoration. Your bite will then be checked to make sure your teeth fit together comfortably and that you can floss between the teeth. Any adjustments can be made by smoothing your new filling.
This process differs from the placement of silver fillings in that silver fillings require the shaping of the tooth by making undercuts that help to hold the filling material in place. By removing deeper portions of the tooth, its structure becomes impaired. This can lead to a weaker tooth that is prone to cracking. Tooth-colored fillings do not require as much loss of the structure of the tooth, so results are more conservative of existing tooth structure.
What are the Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
There are many advantages to tooth-colored fillings. Not only do these fillings closely match the natural color of your teeth, they chemically bond to the teeth, so slots, grooves, or pins are not needed to keep them in place. These fillings harden in seconds, and they can be used on the front of back teeth. No more worrying about whether your silver filling Is visible when you talk!
If you or a loved one is experiencing a cavity and is in need of a tooth-colored filling, contact IKON Dental Group today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and schedule your appointment with Dr. Khan.