What are tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, the fillings are less noticeable, and much more attractive, than other types of fillings.
What are the advantages to tooth-colored fillings?
Because composite resins are tooth-colored, they look more natural than other filling materials. With composites, you can smile, talk, and eat with confidence. In addition, they are compatible with dental sealants. A tooth can be filled and sealed at the same time to prevent further decay. Many people are also concerned about the mercury content of silver fillings. While this is still a controversial subject, many countries in the world have banned silver fillings. Since composite fillings have become so reliable many people prefer to replace their silver fillings for safety as well as esthetic reasons.
What are the disadvantages of tooth-colored fillings?
First, tooth-colored fillings are not for every tooth. They work best in small restorations and low-stress areas. For example, Dr. Swearingen may not recommend a tooth-colored filling for a large cavity or for the chewing surface of a back tooth. Second, tooth-colored fillings may cost more than silver fillings because they take longer to place.
How will I care for my fillings?
Take care of a tooth-colored filling the same way you take care of a silver filling: Brush, floss, and visit Dr. Bartolome and Dr. Swearingen’s office as needed. Any filling will last longer with good oral hygiene. We will regularly check the fillings for color change, leakage, or unusual wear and inform you of the need for repair or replacement.
I have composite fillings in my teeth, but they don't match the color of my teeth.
If you have composite fillings that do not match the color of your teeth, you can have them replaced with new bonded fillings. Over time, tooth-colored fillings, especially the older ones, can discolor, or the color of your teeth may have darkened due to food or beverage stains. Modern bonded fillings hold their color much longer than older materials.
I heard gold is best for teeth, but I want a more natural look. What are my choices?
Gold is an excellent material but some people object to its appearance, even in back teeth. There are several choices of materials to repair decayed or broken teeth. Laser bonded composite fillings are used for small-to-medium-sized cavities, and they are natural tooth color. Gold or porcelain inlays are used for very large cavities. The traditional gold, while an excellent material in terms of durability and strength, is generally not selected in areas where it would be visible. Porcelain, on the other hand is very natural looking. In the case of even more extreme tooth damage, a porcelain crown can be used.
If you would like to learn more about tooth-colored fillings and see if this is an option for you, please contact Dr. Michelle Bartolome and Dr. William Swearingen’s office today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Swearingen has been serving patients in the Sacramento area for over 25 years.
Cosmetic and General Dentistry