Despite how much dental care has improved in recent decades, about 90 percent of people will still develop at least one cavity at some point in their lives. For several generations, your only option to repair a decayed tooth was with a filling made of a noticeable metal, such as silver. Not only did these fillings stand out in your smile, but the metal could seep into the enamel, turning the entire tooth a dark gray color. At Epic Family Dentistry of Carrollton, Dr. A uses a tooth-colored material to heal cavities in Carrollton. This solution can restore your smile without drawing attention to it. Contact our office today to learn more about this amazing treatment!
Tooth-colored fillings are comprised of a completely metal-free substance known as composite resin. This putty-like mixture of glass and plastic particles comes in multiple shades, so there’s always a color that can match your enamel. In fact, composite resin is so versatile that we also use this material for a cosmetic procedure called dental bonding, in which the resin is sculpted over a tooth to conceal minor aesthetic flaws.
In addition to seamlessly blending in with the rest of your smile, tooth-colored fillings are much less likely to expand and contract when exposed to different temperatures. Metal fillings do this every time you consume something hot or cold. Over the years, this can act as a wedge, gradually forming chips or cracks in the tooth that increase the risk of further decay or infection in the future.
Since composite resin directly bonds to the tooth, it won’t change shape like this over time. Another benefit of this bond is that the resin is much easier to place than metal. To place a metal filling, a significant portion of your enamel had to be removed to make room. Very little if any enamel must be removed to place a tooth-colored filling. This allows you to retain more of your natural tooth structure.
After your dentist in Carrollton determines that you need one or more tooth-colored fillings, the process is simple. It doesn’t take long at all. In fact, several fillings can even be placed during one appointment. The procedure should be painless since we begin by administering a local anesthetic.
Once your mouth is numb and we’ve selected the ideal shade of composite resin to use, the decayed material is removed from the tooth, and the area is lightly etched to help the resin bond with the tooth. Next, the resin is applied and sculpted in layers until the tooth is built back up to its original structure. After this step is complete, we harden the filling within seconds by shining an ultraviolet curing light onto it. From there, your smile should look and feel good as new!