White Fillings / Composite
Composite fillings – also known as tooth-colored fillings – are dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous and natural in appearance. They blend well with the teeth and appear more natural than amalgam fillings, which are darker and more easily seen by other people. Composite fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that chemically bond to the teeth. They can be used to fill in decayed areas of the teeth, as well as to help repair chipped or broken teeth. Dr. Laudie uses composite fillings anywhere in the mouth. They are strong enough to place on any tooth.
Did you know…
that composite fillings allow dentists to preserve more of the natural tooth structure? This is because composite materials chemically bond to the surface of the tooth like an adhesive. The process takes slightly longer to complete than traditional amalgam fillings, but patients can preserve more of the natural portion of the teeth while enjoying a restoration that is discreet and understated.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect if my dentist decides a composite filling is right for me?
During your visit, your gums and teeth will be anesthetized with a local anesthetic near the site of the filling. Once the area is numb, the decayed or damaged portion of your teeth will be removed to make room for the new tooth-colored filling. A resin will be placed over the area and cured with a hand-held light for less than a minute. The new filling will then be shaped and polished before the procedure is complete.
What type of post-treatment care is required after getting a composite filling?
Composite fillings are cured with light at your dentist’s office. You should be able to return to normal activity and oral care immediately after your visit. It’s normal for treated teeth to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following treatment, but sensitivity that persists beyond a week should be reported to your dentist.
White Fillings / Glass Ionomer
Very recent advances are allowing a long time dental material to be used as a filling material in almost any situation. Why is this material potentially better? Glass Ionomer fillings are the most natural fillings placed in the mouth. They bond naturally to the tooth through calcium bonds in the tooth and calcium in the filling material. No resins or ‘glue’ is needed for the bonding. The filling material helps restore a damaged tooth and can also help prevent future decay on that tooth by releasing minerals to the nearby tooth structure to remineralize it and protect from acid attack. While your tooth will start to dissolve at a pH of 5.5, this filling material will dissolve at a pH of 5.6 (a slightly less acidic environment) thus releasing needed minerals for the tooth to help protect it in acid environments. The most recent advances in this material have increased its internal strength so it can be used throughout the mouth in a wide variety of situations.