It used to be that repairing cavities or other dental damage required the placement of amalgam (metal) fillings that were anything but discreet. In addition, many dentists believe there are serious health concerns associated with mercury levels in the metal materials. Fortunately, a safer and more inconspicuous alternative exists in tooth-colored fillings. These modern dental restorations are strong, durable and blend in with natural tooth enamel. Tooth-colored fillings are available at the practice of Dr. Mia Fitzgerald, an experienced restorative and cosmetic dentist who understands that patients want to retain their oral health without compromising the beauty of their smile.
The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made from either porcelain or composite resin. Aesthetically, these materials are much more attractive than metal, which is conspicuous and stands out in the mouth. Tooth-colored fillings are also healthier for your teeth. They require less removal of healthy tooth structure than amalgam fillings. The more natural tooth structure stays, the better in the long run. In addition, tooth-colored filling materials are much more flexible than amalgam fillings. Tooth-colored fillings absorb the forces of biting and chewing much like natural tooth enamel does. Amalgam fillings are stiff and can stress your teeth, putting them at risk of cracking.
Dental fillings are primarily used to repair teeth damaged by cavities or decay. Thanks to their discreet appearance, tooth-colored fillings can also be used for cosmetic purposes, including replacing old, noticeable amalgam fillings and repairing noticeable chips and cracks in the teeth, and uneven tooth edges.
The first step in the dental filling placement process is to prepare the affected tooth. This can be completed in a routine dental checkup with Dr. Fitzgerald. She will remove all decay present and thoroughly clean the affected area. Using a shade guide, Dr. Fitzgerald will select the color of the filling material that best matches your natural tooth enamel. Composite resin fillings are placed in a single dental appointment. Dr. Fitzgerald will place the resin material onto the affected tooth, sculpt it and then harden it with a blue light. Porcelain fillings may require two dental appointments. During the first appointment, Dr. Fitzgerald will take impressions of your tooth to send to a dental laboratory that will create the filling. You will then need to return for a second appointment to have the porcelain filling placed.
Once your filling is in place, you can bite and chew as normal. Fillings do not require special care, but good oral hygiene is a must to ensure proper function and health.
Discuss Your Dental Restorative Options
Tooth-colored fillings are just one of the dental solutions Dr. Fitzgerald offers to restore health and function to patients’ smiles. If she determines that your cavity or decay is too large to be properly treated with a filling, she may recommend a more extensive solution, like an inlay, onlay or dental crown.
Dr. Fitzgerald is here to discuss all of your oral health needs. To schedule a dental appointment, please contact her Sudbury dental practice today.