Tooth decay is one of the most widespread dental issues. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 years have had cavities, and more than a quarter of these patients suffer from untreated decay. If bacteria accumulate on your teeth, the acids they produce can wear down your enamel, causing toothaches, discoloration, cracks, or holes. The bacteria also raise your risk for other dental issues such as infection. For patients who suffer from decay, we provide restorative dentistry treatments to repair damaged teeth. Our dentists work to simultaneously improve your teeth’s function and appearance at our Ridgewood practice. Read on to learn more about tooth-colored filling benefits and how these restorations can help you maintain your smile.
Who Is a Candidate?
You may qualify for a tooth-colored dental filling if you:
- Have mild to moderate tooth decay. We may recommend beautiful, durable porcelain dental crowns to treat cracked teeth or those with infected roots.
- Want to replace a previous amalgam dental filling due to its more noticeable metallic appearance.
- Have an older dental filling that is warped, chipped, or misaligned, requiring replacement.
- Suffer from a small fracture, chip, or crack in your tooth, even if it is not decayed.
One of our dentists will examine your teeth, take an x-ray, and review your dental records to determine if you may be a good candidate for a tooth-colored filling.
Placing a Tooth-Colored Filling
Filling a decayed tooth takes just one appointment at our office. One of our dentists will begin by numbing your teeth and gums with local anesthesia to keep you calm and comfortable. Next, he or she will remove the damaged portion of your tooth, preserving as much of its natural structure as possible. Then, your dentist will clean your remaining tissue so that no bacteria or debris remain. Finally, he or she will place the composite resin onto your tooth, contour it for a natural appearance, and harden it with a special light.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are the restorations of choice for many patients suffering from tooth decay because they:
- Provide a more natural, cosmetic appearance. Unlike amalgam restorations, tooth-colored fillings are custom made to mimic the color of your enamel. This allows you to repair your smile without feeling self-conscious about your restorations.
- Require less removal of enamel. Tooth-colored composite resin can be formed to the tooth more easily than amalgam, requiring less modification of the natural tooth structure.
- Do not contain potentially toxic substances such as mercury. In addition, some patients are allergic or sensitive to the metals used in amalgam fillings.
- Are less prone to change shape or structure according to temperature, as amalgam does. Even subtle changes to the structure of the filling could harm your tooth, so using a more stable material can benefit your dental health.
- Can last up to 15 years or longer with appropriate maintenance.
- Shield your enamel from future decay, infection, or damage.
- Can repair tiny fractures and cracks, since the material acts as a bonding agent.
Our dentists can detail more of the benefits of tooth-colored fillings at your consultation.
Schedule an Appointment at Ridgewood Dental Associates
If you suffer from minor dental damage or want to replace an outdated filling, our dentists can protect and improve your smile with tooth-colored dental fillings. To learn more about this treatment or find out if you qualify, please do not hesitate to contact our dental practice.