Tooth-Colored Fillings in Farmington, NM
Even the most diligent brushers and flossers find themselves with a cavity at least once in their lifetimes. In fact, dental caries (cavities) is one of the most common issues dentists deal with in their practices. By repairing the part of the tooth that has decayed, your cosmetic dentist retains the integrity of your tooth, bite strength, and overall cosmetic appearance of your smile.
In most cavity cases, the dentist will remove the decay and fill in the removed area, this filling used to consist of different metals. Letting decay go untreated is never a good idea, and those who don’t get it taken care of will more than likely end up with a problem even bigger than a simple filling.
Dental fillings used to mean having your tooth filled with a dark-colored metal material, but this is no longer the case. This type of dental filling, called amalgam, consists of a mixture of metals, including liquid mercury and alloy particles.
Old-fashioned amalgam fillings are becoming a thing of the past as they are replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings more and more. Tooth-colored composite fillings look and feel like your natural tooth and are not easily noticeable.
If you are in the Farmington, NM area and are seeking professional dental counsel regarding a filling you need, contact Lusk Family Dentistry to discuss your options.
You deserve the smile you want!
What Are Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings?
When treating tooth decay, we recommend tooth-colored fillings as a way to keep your smile not only healthy but beautiful as well. Although silver-colored amalgam fillings were used commonly in the past, now we have naturally shaded composites as an option.
These fillings look better because they are virtually invisible and blend in well with your surrounding teeth. Even fillings that are closer to the front of your mouth will be undetectable when you talk, smile, or laugh-- so you never have to feel anxious about smiling too big or having an unsightly filling.
After gently removing the decay on your tooth, we will place the composite material in the space we have cleared and then cure it with a special light. We will then adjust the tooth-colored filling as needed so you can still bite down properly.
Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Safe?
Scientific studies have shown that tooth-colored fillings are not only safe and reliable, but they also last a long time. Combine that with their natural appearance, it’s evident why many patients choose them.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
Aesthetics aside, there are many advantages tooth-colored fillings have over metal fillings, including the following:
- Since composite fillings bond directly to the structure of the tooth, there is much less risk that the restorations will become loose or fall out. This also makes the existing tooth structure much stronger. This means you don’t have to worry about stressing your fillings out through chewing, and therefore you won’t have to limit yourself in your diet.
- Amalgam fillings break down over the years; they can leak and cause other damage to the structure of the tooth.
- With a composite filling, there is less alteration of the tooth that needs to be filled, and more of the natural tooth structure is preserved.
- There is no mercury or other metals in composite fillings. Although the FDA stance on amalgams is that they are safe, many people are not comfortable with them.
- There is fewer tooth sensitivity with composite fillings than with amalgam fillings.
- Tooth-colored composite fillers can be used to repair more than just cavities. Since they can pass for the same shade as your natural teeth, the composite fillers can be used to repair chips or fractures in your teeth, even the ones people see most often.
What Are Some Disadvantages?
Some people experience tooth sensitivity after the procedure, but tooth pain after getting a filling is not unusual. This usually goes away after a few weeks, but if you find that it persists please contact your dentist.
Your naturally shaded filled teeth are very similar to your normal teeth in that they are also sensitive to foods and beverages. You may find your filling changing slightly in color if you drink a lot of coffee, tea or anything that stains.
How Long Do Tooth Colored Fillings Last?
Since tooth-colored fillings usually require less invasive drilling, your tooth is stronger and has more density. Whit proper care and maintenance, tooth-colored fillings generally last for an average of 7-10 years.
What Does the Process Look Like?
Your Farmington, NM dentist, Dr. Lusk, will let you know about your options for filling in your cavity.
The process is usually completed in one visit. First, your dentist will remove the decay present in your tooth. After a thorough cleaning, Dr. Lusk will prime your tooth for the filling material. Once the filling is placed in the mouth, it will be shaped to resemble the natural shape of the tooth. After this step is complete, a special UV light will cure and harden the filling. When the filling is hardened, your dentist will make sure all the teeth align properly even when the jaw is closed. Finally, the tooth will be polished to brighten your smile.
Amalgam VS Tooth-Colored Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are actually not silver, but a metal alloy that includes several materials with mercury among them. Many health warnings exist to warn people from being exposed to mercury, pregnant women especially are cautioned against eating tuna or other seafood that may contain mercury. If you want to avoid the risks associated with mercury, tooth-colored fillings are a safe and viable alternative.
Tooth-colored fillings are not only safer for your health since they are mercury-free, but the restored tooth will also be stronger since the filling binds directly to the tooth itself. You maintain more of the structural integrity of the tooth since less of the decayed tooth has to be removed compared to silver fillings.
Dr. Lusk will choose a composite that matches the color of your tooth, making this an aesthetically pleasing option.
How Do I Take Care of My Tooth-Colored Fillings?
To ensure longevity and keeping your smile bright and healthy, and prevent further cavities, you’ll need to practice consistent oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is the most basic foundation. Staying away from too much sugar or soda prevents further cavities, and schedule regular cleanings with your dentist. It’s important to note that foods and beverages that stain your teeth, like coffee or wine, can also stain your fillings.
Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Right for Me?
Several factors are used to determine the type of filling that will work best for a patient. These include the location and extent of the tooth decay, the cost of the filling material, the type of dental insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation.
Consult with your dentist in Farmington, NM to determine which type of filling works best for you.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
Whatever your unique case might be, the best way to realize whether tooth-colored fillings are the best option for you is to arrange a dental consultation. Dr. Lusk will be able to explain all your options and help you select the perfect treatment plan to get you a healthy-looking smile.
When it comes to your dental health, early detection is always best! If you are having issues with any of your teeth, don’t wait until small problems become bigger problems. Contact Lusk Family Dentistry to schedule a checkup!