Tooth-Colored Fillings – Greenbelt | Millersville, Maryland
Natural-Looking & Feeling Smile Restoration
At McCarl Dental Group, we are dedicated to offering our patients the most conservative dentistry options with an emphasis on prevention. For those patients who have minor tooth decay or damage, we use a tooth-colored filling material to replace lost structure and restore the full form and function of your smile. If you want to find out more about conservative dental restoration options or schedule a visit, call our Greenbelt or Millersville dental office location today. We look forward to hearing from you.
Why Choose Tooth-Colored Fillings From McCarl Dental Group?
- Looks and feels just like a natural tooth
- Long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing materials
- No need to further reduce healthy dental structure
What are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made From?
Tooth-colored fillings are crafted from composite resin. This is a mixture of plastics and glasses that are melded together to mimic the natural look and feel of your teeth. Defective or decayed tooth structure is removed, and the site is disinfected and prepared before the material is applied directly to a damaged tooth in a putty-like form. Once in place, the composite is light cured recreating tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or damage.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings VS Amalgams
Traditionally, fillings were crafted from metal amalgams. These fillings were used for a hundred years, and many of our patients still have amalgam restorations. Unfortunately, we’ve started to see that long-term effects of metal amalgam fillings can be negative. The placement of an amalgam filling requires the removal of healthy tooth enamel to create wedges that hold the metal filling in place. This impacts the integrity of the remaining healthy tooth structure. After placement, the amalgam filling material expands and contracts differently than tooth enamel, so over time, bacteria is able to accumulate between the filling and tooth. This leads to further decay in many cases, and some people experience tooth breakage. In most cases, the amalgam fillings break away from the tooth entirely. Conversely, composite resin filling materials create a solid, lasting bond with the tooth, and the placement of these restorations doesn’t require the removal of any healthy tooth structures.
How are Tooth-Colored Fillings Placed?
Placing a composite resin filling is a simple process completed over the course of just one appointment. We begin by numbing the area around the damaged tooth. Then, we remove any damaged or decayed structures. Once the tooth is prepared, we apply the putty-like composite directly to the tooth. We carefully shape the composite in position to replace or repair damaged tooth structures. Then, a curing light is used to harden the composite material. We smooth and polish the treated tooth, leaving you with a healthy, natural looking smile.
Caring for Your Tooth-Colored Fillings
Once your smile is repaired, you’ll need to take care to brush and floss each day. You should use a soft toothbrush and minimally abrasive toothpaste to avoid excess wear. Unlike porcelain, composite resin is an absorbent material much like your tooth enamel. That means your tooth-colored filling can stain when you consume dark-colored foods and drinks or use tobacco. You should limit your consumption of staining foods and beverages and forego tobacco usage. We also recommend stopping any chewing or biting habits like crunching ice cubes, biting your fingernails, or using teeth to open packages. The same “bad oral habits” that chip or wear your natural teeth are bad for your composite bonded fillings. If you participate in sports or struggle with nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, you should use protective mouthguards as directed. During six month dental exams and teeth cleanings, we’ll examine your filling to make sure it remains in place and functional.