Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are a more modern alternative to old-fashioned metal fillings. These fillings are better for many reasons, including:
- Attractive, natural appearance
- Don’t require as much drilling
- Create a good seal with tooth
- Insulate against temperature changes
- Can restore lost strength to teeth
- Don’t contain toxic mercury
Tooth-colored fillings can blend in with your natural teeth. No one needs to know you have cavities. Plus, with composite fillings, we don’t need to create a large hole in your teeth. We can conserve more of your natural tooth enamel.
Metal fillings are just jammed into the hole made by the drill. Leakage can occur at the margins of the filling. With tooth-colored fillings, the filling can seal with your natural tooth.
Metal conducts heat and cold into your tooth, but tooth-colored fillings insulate your teeth to reduce temperature sensitivity.
Ceramic fillings can restore strength to your teeth, helping them resist chipping and cracking. Metal amalgam fillings can actually crack teeth themselves.
Plus, tooth-colored fillings are free of mercury, one of the most toxic elements known.
Why We Fill Cavities
Cavities are caused by oral bacteria that eat sugar and carbs in your mouth, then secrete acid. This acid breaks down the tooth enamel, first creating weak spots, then creating holes, called cavities. These cavities not only weaken your tooth, they provide shelter and trap food for oral bacteria. Plus, inside the cavity, acid concentrates, which can speed up the growth of cavities.
When we fill a cavity, we stop this process and protect your teeth from future decay.
Two Types of Tooth-Colored Fillings
When you get tooth-colored fillings, we can choose between two different types: composite fillings and ceramic inlays or onlays. Composite fillings are made from a blend of resin (plastic) and ceramic, the same material used in dental bonding. This type of filling is ideal for small cavities.
Ceramic fillings are made completely of ceramic, so they look the most like natural tooth material. They’re also even stronger than natural tooth material, so they have very good long-term durability. Plus, when bonded to your natural teeth, these ceramic fillings can restore some of your tooth’s lost strength.
In the past, ceramic fillings were made in a lab, and you had to make two appointments to get them. With our advanced CEREC technique, we can deliver ceramic fillings in just one visit, the same as dental crowns.