Tooth-Colored Fillings – Potomac Falls, VA
Treat Cavities Without Drawing Attention to Them
For generations, dentists used a material known as silver amalgam to treat cavities. The amalgam served its purpose well enough, but many patients complained about its dark color, which clashes with the natural color of teeth. Dr. Bryce abandoned amalgam fillings in 1995 and has been using tooth-colored fillings ever since. These restorations provide an aesthetically pleasing, effective, and biocompatible way to address cases of mild to moderate tooth decay.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Silver amalgam is a mix of metals. Tooth-colored fillings, on the other hand, are made out of a flexible composite resin, which contains tiny glass particles, plastic, and other materials. The resin is the same material that we often use for cosmetic dental bonding procedures. It is easy for Dr. Bryce to select the ideal shade for the resin so that it blends in well with the color of the surrounding dentition.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The aesthetic appeal of tooth-colored fillings is their most obvious benefit. They look quite natural in the mouth, which means onlookers are unlikely to be able to spot them. Also, unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings will not cause any staining on the nearby enamel.
Of course, the beauty of tooth-colored fillings is just one of their advantages. Additional benefits include:
- No mercury. Silver amalgam fillings are approximately 50% mercury, which is known to be a toxic substance. Although the American Dental Association believes that amalgam fillings are safe, many patients are still concerned about the risks of mercury vapors and strongly prefer a mercury-free alternative.
- Low thermal conductivity. Metal fillings are good at conducting temperatures, which can increase dental sensitivity. Tooth-colored fillings do not have this issue.
- Safer for teeth. Metal fillings tend to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which can place a lot of stress on the surrounding dentition. Tooth-colored fillings do not react as readily to temperature changes.
- Less tooth preparation. Because tooth-colored fillings bond with the natural tooth structure, they fit snugly inside a tooth. Metal fillings, on the other hand, simply sit inside a cavity and come with a greater risk of leakage.
- Tooth-colored fillings typically last for several years before replacement becomes necessary.
The Tooth-Colored Filling Process
The first step in the tooth-colored filling process is for us to make sure you are comfortable. Often, this means that we numb the tooth that will receive the filling. However, local anesthesia is not always necessary if a cavity is relatively shallow. Then, Dr. Bryce will prepare the tooth by removing decayed tissue from within it. Next, the composite resin is inserted. A special light hardens the filling in a matter of seconds. Finally, Dr. Bryce adjusts the filling so it will not interfere with your bite. From beginning to end, most filling appointments last less than one hour.
Would you like to learn more about tooth-colored fillings or the other restorative treatments offered in our office? Contact our team today at 571-434-8000. We are ready to answer all of your questions.