April 25, 2022
Almost 91% of adults experience at least one cavity in their permanent teeth during their lifetime.
With an elevated demand for dental work of this nature, there have been many developments that offer patients more options to treat tooth decay.
What are Tooth Coloured Fillings?
Tooth coloured fillings are Dental restorations and are an innovative new version of the old, metal fillings.
They are designed to be discreet and natural in appearance as they blend well with the teeth and look more natural than amalgam fillings, which are darker and more easily noticeable.
They are also known as Composite Fillings as they are made of a composite resin material that can chemically bond to the teeth and they can be utilized to fill and close off a cavity after the decayed part of the tooth has been removed and also to help repair chipped or broken teeth.
Composite restorations are used to treat the teeth closest to the front of the mouth.
However, the latest advances in technology and the composition of composite fillings have made it possible for dentists to use tooth-coloured fillings on molars too, as they receive more wear than other teeth.
What Is the Procedure for Tooth Coloured Fillings?
First and foremost the dentist discusses the options to decide the filling type best suited for the patient and starts by selecting the shade of composite to use in the filling.
A local anaesthetic is administered in the area to numb the tooth and surrounding areas before the procedure and the decay is then removed usually using a dental drill, leaving a sound and strong tooth structure.
The cavity is then cleaned, disinfected and dried to prepare it for the filling material to be placed in it.
This step might involve some tooth shaving for severely damaged teeth.
The filling is then shaped to restore the shape of the tooth and then cured with light for hardening before checking the bite and ensuring that the restoration is comfortable. The tooth is then contoured and polished.
After the Filling Procedure
The patients are usually advised not to eat or drink for 2–3 hours after the procedure.
Some people may experience some sensitivity in the area for a few days following the procedure.
However, if one experiences any pain or if the filling does not feel right, the dentist must be consulted as soon as possible.
What are the Types of Tooth Coloured Dental Fillings?
When it comes to choosing the right type of dental filling for a cavity, patients now have several options.
Currently, most people opt for tooth-coloured fillings for a more discreet result. However, in certain situations, a metal filling may be the more appropriate choice.
A dentist can help patients make the most appropriate selection based on age, dental history and the location of the affected tooth.
Filling the decayed tooth using a tooth-coloured material, results in a more natural-looking and less noticeable appearance.
This option is preferred by most patients especially while receiving routine dental care for decay towards the front of the mouth.
These materials can be even enjoyed in the back of the mouth if the decay is not too drastic.
Tooth-coloured fillings can be made of:
- Porcelain or ceramic
- Resin composite which is a combination of porcelain and plastic
- Glass ionomer which is a combination of acrylic and glass, infused with fluoride
Porcelain and resin composite are usually used on exposed tooth areas, while glass ionomer fillings are generally used to treat decay below the gum line.
A popular choice among dentists and patients, Composite Fillings can be easily accommodated to match the natural shade of the patient’s teeth.
What are the Advantages of Tooth Coloured Fillings?
1. Quick Treatment
The procedure of the tooth coloured filling is quick and painless and takes less than an hour to fill one or two cavities.
At Kirkland Premier Dentistry Dr Sheena Gaur is quite adept with these fillings and works as efficiently as possible to limit the amount of actual treatment time.
In most cases, a filling can be placed, cured and polished in about 15 to 20/minutes after the anaesthesia sets in.
2. Aesthetically Appealing
Tooth-coloured fillings easily blend in with the surrounding tooth structure making it unnoticeable and only white sparkling teeth visible, unlike the silver amalgam and gold fillings.
3. Long Lasting
The tooth-coloured fillings could last for 10 years or more if proper care of teeth, gums, and fillings is taken.
Dr Sheena Gaur explains that Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, getting a dental examination and cleaning every six months can go a long way in protecting the fillings.
4. Leaves More Healthy Tooth Structure Intact
As the composite resin that is used in tooth-coloured fillings bonds to the teeth, there is the least need to remove as much natural tooth structure, as is needed with silver amalgam or gold fillings, allowing more conservatively treatment of the cavity and maintaining more of the natural tooth structure.
Some amount of Mercury, which is a toxic material, is present in Silver amalgam fillings.
Though it is very low and not considered dangerous to health, many patients prefer a mercury-free option, such as tooth-coloured fillings.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings can last around 10 years if the fillings are well taken care of. However, someone at very high risk for cavities may not get that many years out of a composite filling.
Porcelain fillings, which can also be tinted for a near-natural finish can last between 10 and 15 years in a healthy adult.
What is the Cost of Tooth Coloured Fillings?
The cost of a composite resin filling depends on many factors. It is a non-invasive procedure which can easily be performed under local anaesthesia but if the patient is affected by dental anxieties or a strong gag reflex, dental sedation might be needed and it can increase the cost.
It is always cheaper to treat a cavity with filling on time than to neglect the problem till the time it gets worse.
Most adults deal with cavity treatment at some point in life and tooth-coloured filling options can help make the work appear more natural.
They have many benefits, the biggest being preserving your smile and bite with a completely natural look!
Dr Sheena Gaur at Kirkland Premier dentistry has a wide experience in treating tooth decay and cavities and can offer expert guidance in helping patients make an appropriate choice according to the condition, placement and amount of decay!
For sparkling, white and healthy teeth book an appointment today.