Getting a cavity shouldn’t mean damaging the appearance of your smile with a silver filling. These days, there’s a better alternative -- one that blends beautifully with your surrounding tooth enamel. Tooth-colored fillings are made out of natural-looking composite resin. Dr. Gray and Dr. Newman are pleased to offer tooth-colored fillings in Houston, TX.
A tooth-colored filling is like its silver counterpart, except it uses natural-looking, smooth glass and plastic composite resin to fill in the cavity left by tooth decay. A tooth-colored filling dries in minutes and is placed in one visit to your dentist’s office. Unlike silver fillings, the composite resin actually bonds with the tooth enamel.
To fill a cavity with composite resin, your dentist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. Once you are completely comfortable, he or she will remove all decay from the cavity. Then, a special solution is applied to the surface of the tooth to help it bond with the resin. When the tooth is ready, the composite resin fills the hole. Your dentist will shape it to make sure it fits and functions just like it should. Then, the composite resin dries in minutes with the application of a special UV light.
The most significant difference between tooth-colored and silver fillings is, of course, their appearance. Many patients prefer tooth-colored fillings because they blend well with the rest of the teeth. People who are worried about the potential for mercury exposure with silver fillings also appreciate the fact that composite resin is a natural alternative.
Additionally, a tooth-colored filling is completely dry in a matter of minutes. A silver filling, on the other hand, takes hours to fully dry. Patients must chew on the other side of the mouth for up to 12 hours after a silver filling has been applied.
Studies have shown that tooth-colored fillings last as long as their silver counterparts. And if a problem like breakage or further decay does develop, it may be easier to detect against the composite resin. Silver fillings can make damage difficult to see, even on an X-ray.
As the popularity of tooth-colored fillings increases, so too does the frequency of filling replacement. Should you have your healthy silver fillings replaced with white ones? It depends. Patients may opt for filling replacement to avoid the slight potential for mercury exposure. Or, they may do so to prevent future problems from occurring with their silver fillings. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of elective filling replacement.
If you have a cavity, don’t wait to restore the health and beauty of your smile. Contact Mark Gray, DDS Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment for superb general, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry! Your dentist in Houston will keep you and those you love most smiling happily and healthily for years to come.