Tooth-colored Dental Fillings Provide Support and Aesthetics
If you suffer from dental decay, a filling may be necessary to restore your tooth and prevent future deterioration. Modern dentistry allows for the incorporation of cosmetic elements in restorative dentistry, and Dr. Teddi Olszewski offers tooth-colored dental fillings at her Northampton, MA, office. These fillings are made of composite resin, a material that can be matched to the color and shape of your tooth. They are stronger and provide a more attractive appearance than metal fillings. If you would like to learn more about tooth-colored fillings and how they can help restore your smile, contact us today and schedule an appointment.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling restores the form and function of a tooth that has been damaged by decay. The filling is used to rebuild the area where decay has deteriorated your tooth structure. By covering the damaged area following removal of decayed tissue, the filling strengthens the tooth and prevents future decay.
Because they can be precisely matched to your existing tooth color, composite resin fillings result in a more natural-looking restoration.
Benefits of Tooth-colored Fillings
In the past, the most commonly used filling was an amalgam, or silver, filling. However, in recent years, many dentists have switched to tooth-colored fillings for the numerous advantages they provide patients:
- Appearance: Because they can be precisely matched to your existing tooth color, composite resin fillings result in a more natural-looking tooth. Additionally, they do not cause internal discoloration of the teeth when in place.
- Stability: Tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, thereby restoring it and providing further support.
- Safety: Other types of fillings, such as silver fillings, can expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold foods. As a result, the tooth may crack. Composite fillings are far less reactive to temperature.
- Less invasive treatment: Your dentist does not have to remove as much dental tissue to make room for a composite resin filling.
It is the patient's decision to receive tooth-colored fillings versus silver amalgam fillings; however, due to the multiple aesthetic and medical benefits of tooth-colored fillings, amalgam fillings are becoming increasingly uncommon, due to the number of benefits tooth-colored fillings offer. Patients with an older silver filling may wish to have it replaced with a tooth-colored composite filling. However, because removing amalgam fillings can be potentially harmful to the tooth, patients should not do so unless it is recommended by Dr. Olszewski.
Prior to placing the filling, Dr. Olszewski uses a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, the tooth is prepared. This involves removing the infected areas of the tooth and creating a sufficient space for the filling. Once that has been done, the filling is placed and molded to the inside of the tooth. The composite resin is carefully applied in layers to match the shape and color of your tooth. Next, a special light is held over the bonding material until the filling hardens. Finally, Dr. Olszewski polishes the tooth and filling to achieve a natural-looking shine.
Patients with mild to moderate tooth decay may be good candidates for dental fillings. Those with more extensive decay may need an inlay, onlay, or dental crown to restore the affected tooth. Dr. Olszewski will discuss candidacy as well as treatment options during your consultation.
At Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. If you suspect you may be in need of a dental filling, contact our office today to schedule an evaluation.