Composite Tooth-Colored Fillings in Richton MS
We’ve come a long way in the fight against cavities.
Unfortunately, we have yet to eradicate them completely!
While the number of cavities you’re likely to experience in your lifetime has decreased dramatically, it’s still highly likely that you will have a cavity at some point. We don’t believe that having a cavity should permanently detract from your smile, however.
Tooth-colored fillings, made from a composite resin material, allow us to stop the cavity in its tracks and restore your tooth so well that even you won’t be able to see the difference!
The Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The most obvious advantage that tooth-colored fillings offer is the fact that they’re… well… tooth-colored! Dr. Darby can blend the composite to perfectly match the natural shade of your teeth. Once they are placed, they are virtually impossible to spot!
Tooth-colored fillings do more than just look great, though. For instance,
- Tooth-colored fillings are 100% metal-free whereas amalgam (silver) fillings are a mixture of metals that includes mercury. While no study has ever linked the mercury in dental fillings to adverse health effects, it does still make some patients nervous.
- Composite fillings are placed in layers that bond to the tooth structure. Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, do not bond and require us to create a mechanical anchor to hold the filling in place. This means that tooth-colored fillings allow us to preserve more healthy tooth structure.
- All substances shrink and expand in response to changes in temperature, including your tooth structure. Composite fillings expand and contract in a very similar way to natural tooth structure, especially when compared to metal fillings. Over time, metal fillings can degrade, leak, come loose, and even crack your tooth.
What to Expect When You Get a Filling
Fillings are a simple and common procedure, but they are important. Cavities are an area of decay on your tooth. Left untreated, the cavity will grow and cause serious damage to your tooth.
Many patients are surprised to hear that they have a cavity because they haven’t experienced any pain or sensitivity. This is because your tooth has layers and, typically, only cavities that penetrate the innermost layer cause pain. In other words, we want to find cavities before they cause pain! By the time your tooth hurts, treatment may need to be more extensive than just a filling.
Most fillings begin with anesthetic to numb the tooth so you don’t feel a thing. In some cases, the cavity is small enough that anesthetic may not be needed, but we will discuss this with you and let you make the choice. If you are feeling stressed or anxious about your filling, let us know. Nitrous oxide is available and can help you relax and calm down.
When you are comfortable, Dr. Darby will expertly remove the decayed portion of your tooth. He will then clean and sterilize it, using suction to keep it very dry so he can place the composite filling. He will then fill the cavity in layers, using a light to cure the filling material between each layer.
Once the cavity is filled, he will smooth out the filling and polish it to blend in with your enamel. Depending on the location of the cavity, he may test your bite.
After that, you’re all done! You’ll be free to get on with the rest of the day. You can even eat on a composite filling right away (although if you are still numb, it is best to wait until the anesthetic wears off, otherwise it’s easy to bite or burn yourself).
Is It Time for a Check-Up?
Regular cleanings and examinations make it easy for us to catch cavities as early as possible, when they are simple to treat. If it’s time for you to have a check-up, call our Richton dental office today to schedule!