what are tooth-colored fillings?
Dental cavities are a common problem that develop when bacteria attack your enamel. In the past, cavities were restored with an amalgam material, a combination of metals including mercury, tin, and silver. We now know that these metal fillings don't adhere to the enamel, that the metals leech deep into the tooth, can cause tooth fractures, and that mercury exposure can be hazardous to your overall health. At Riley Dental in Haslet, TX, Dr. Luke Riley only utilizes bonded tooth-colored fillings made with a composite resin to fill cavities and protect the tooth. If you are interested in removing the amalgam fillings in your mouth, Dr. Riley can do so in a safe and effective way while preserving as much of your natural tooth as possible.
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What Are the Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
If you need a filling to treat a cavity, a damaged tooth, or just want to replace your metal amalgam fillings, Riley Dental can ensure you get safe and high-quality tooth-colored fillings placed. The advantages of composite resin fillings at our Haslet, TX office include:
- Fillings are not noticeable when you speak or eat
- Better for your oral health than mercury/amalgam fillings
- Stops further tooth decay and sensitivity
- Placement is quick and should cause minimal, if any, discomfort
- Durable fillings that last up to 7-10 years
- Produces a natural look and a better smile than metal fillings
who can get a tooth-colored filling?
Once the decay is removed, composite resin tooth-colored fillings cover the decayed area in the tooth. Composite resin is a useful material that may be used to address other issues with your teeth, such as chips or excessive wear on the enamel caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). Since the material is tinted to blend with your teeth, fillings may be placed on both the back and front teeth for a natural and beautiful look. If you have amalgam fillings, talk to Dr. Riley about getting them taken out and re-done with composite resin.
how are tooth-colored fillings performed?
Receiving a tooth-colored filling at Riley Dental is usually a simple procedure. The treatment area will be numbed using a local anesthetic to make you feel comfortable. Other sedation like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be used at your request should you have any fears or anxieties regarding the procedure. After you're ready, the infected enamel can be cleared away using a dental drill that Dr. Riley will choose based upon the location of the cavity and the amount of decay. Once the remaining healthy enamel is treated and the area is disinfected, the tooth structure that was removed will be replaced with the composite resin and bonded in place. Dr. Riley will smooth and shape the filling material so it matches your other teeth.
how long is Recovery after getting a tooth-colored filling?
You will be able to return to your day once your tooth-colored filling is complete. Dr. Riley uses a special bond designed to prevent post filling sensitivity that can be common at other offices. However, for excessively large fillings you may notice a sensitivity to cold and hot food and beverages for 1 – 3 days. You can use nonprescription pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to treat discomfort; however, you shouldn't experience any serious problems. If your filling seems high or uneven, or if you notice a significant change to the way you bite down please call us. Your filling should be cleaned by following a regular home care routine including daily flossing and brushing. At each of your regular exams, Dr. Riley performs regular checks of all preexisting fillings as well as fillings done in our office to ensure they remain in optimal shape.
does insurance cover tooth-colored fillings?
Composite resin fillings are a standard treatment for dental cavities that are typically partially covered by insurance. A team member will talk to your dental insurance company to understand your coverage so we can calculate the cost of all your needed treatment. If you don't have dental insurance, we will discuss the payment methods we accept as well as payment plans, our in-office discount plan, and information on financing via CareCredit at your appointment.
Tooth-Colored Fillings FAQ
How long will a tooth-colored filling last?
A tooth-colored filling typically endures for 10 – 15 years or longer before it may become worn down, less effective, and require replacement.
Are tooth-colored fillings safer than traditional amalgam fillings?
Most medical and dental professionals consider tooth-colored fillings to be safer and more reliable than traditional fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are made with a composite of acrylic resin and either powdered quartz, silica, or ceramic, all of which do not contain the chemical BPA. The heavy metals in traditional fillings can be absorbed by the body and may cause harmful side effects.
Are there foods I must avoid after having a tooth-colored filling placed?
Yes. While you can return to eating solid foods shortly after getting your filling(s), there are some foods you should avoid. These include hard foods like nuts and pretzels, chewy foods like candy and beef jerky, and sticky foods like chewing gum and dried fruits. Eating these foods before the filling has fully set risks damaging or removing the filling(s).
Keep your teeth healthy and happy
Cavities may begin as small problems, but it is crucial to have them fixed before they develop into bigger issues. At Riley Dental in Haslet, TX, tooth decay and cavities may be corrected with composite resin fillings. If you think you or your child may have tooth decay, contact us to schedule an exam with Dr. Riley.