Add Strength and Sparkle with Tooth-colored Fillings
Dr. Damien Armstrong can repair decayed or damaged teeth with tooth-colored fillings at his Chattanooga, TN, dental practice. Tooth-colored fillings are an inconspicuous restoration that provides added strength while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing smile. Made from composite resin tinted to match the color of your smile, tooth-colored fillings offer the safest and most natural-looking option to repairing a tooth with minor to moderate decay or damage. This durable material can restore the structural integrity of your tooth for complete dental function. Tooth-colored fillings can help prevent further damage and other costly restorative treatments, such as root canal therapy, dental crowns, and even tooth extractions.
What Are Tooth-colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are made from composite resin, a durable material that consists of a combination of acrylic and glass designed to bond to a tooth to restore it back to full function. Composite resin has a putty-like consistency that is applied in layers with careful skill and hardened with a special curing light. Unlike silver amalgam fillings, composite resin blends with the rest of your smile without damaging your tooth.
This restorative treatment is necessary when less than 50% of a tooth has been damaged from tooth decay. Signs you may need a dental filling include:
- Dental sensitivity to hot, cold, or sugary foods
- Visible pitting (holes) on the surface of your tooth
- Brown staining to the surface of your tooth
- Pain when biting down or chewing
The Dental Filling Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Armstrong will perform a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums, and jawbone with x-ray technology. If any tooth decay is detected, he will review the extent of the damage.
Compared to amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings provide the safest alternative to repairing minor to moderate damage.
In cases where the tooth is too severely damaged, you may need a more substantial restoration, such as an inlay or onlay or same-day dental crown. The overall treatment for a tooth-colored filling can be completed in one office visit in about one hour. The steps include:
- Anesthesia: Before beginning treatment, Dr. Armstrong will numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthetic.
- Tooth Preparation: Dr. Armstrong will use special dental instruments to remove the unhealthy bacteria and gently reshape the tooth.
- Application of Resin: Once the tooth has been thoroughly disinfected, he will tint the resin to match the natural color of your tooth and apply it in layers with careful precision. As each layer is applied, he will use a special curing light to harden the resin for optimal strength.
- Polishing: For ideal results, Dr. Armstrong will remove any excess resin and polish the tooth to ensure proper occlusion.
Maintaining Your Smile
For the first day or two after your procedure, Dr. Armstrong suggests that you avoid consuming certain foods and beverages, as well as biting your nails and chewing on hard objects so as not to disrupt the filling. Caring for your tooth-colored filling is much like caring for your natural smile. Following a healthy oral hygiene regimen of brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash will help you maintain the longevity of your results and prevent further decay.
Restorative and Cosmetic Benefits
Compared to silver amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings provide patients with the safest alternative to repairing minor to moderate damage. If properly cared for, you can expect your filling to last up to 15 years. Other benefits include:
- Effectively restores fractured and decayed teeth
- Restores the structural integrity of a tooth
- Blends with your other teeth
- Does not contain mercury
- Provides long-lasting results
- Provides fewer sensitivity issues
- Does not contract when consuming hot or cold foods
- Does not weaken teeth
Call Today to Learn More
At River City Dentistry, we can place a minimally invasive tooth-colored filling to restore the aesthetics and function back to your smile. If you are experiencing dental pain or sensitivity, contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Armstrong.