Dental fillings are quite common in restorative dentistry. In years past, dentists placed amalgam fillings to treat cavities. In fact, some dental practices still use them. These metallic restorations are comprised of a mixture of zinc, tin, silver, copper, and mercury. At Walnut Pond Dental in Annandale, NJ, we are proud to offer tooth-colored fillings as a healthy and aesthetically-pleasing alternative. Drs. Carson Ferris-Zeolla and Victoria Uryniak are dedicated to practicing the latest techniques and methods for a predictable, successful outcome. With years of experience, our doctors deliver unparalleled care in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
About Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings have been in use for over 20 years in dentistry. The material used in the placement of tooth-colored fillings is composite resin, the same substance applied to the teeth in dental bonding procedures. This material can be color-matched to the surrounding tooth structure for a flawless appearance.
When are Dental Fillings Necessary?
During the early stages of tooth decay, a lesion forms on the tooth in a process known as demineralization. When diagnosed in this phase, it is possible to reverse tooth decay using preventative methods, such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants. However, if a cavity is left untreated, it will begin to affect the enamel as well as the underlying layers of the tooth, including the dentin and the pulp. Once the enamel breaks down, a dental filling is necessary to repair the tooth. The sooner it is treated, the less extensive the procedure will be.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
In addition to being aesthetically-pleasing, tooth-colored fillings offer numerous advantages over their silver amalgam counterparts. Composite fillings are:
- Durable: Composite resin does not expand and contract with temperature changes as metal does. Therefore, tooth-colored fillings actually reinforce and strengthen the teeth, while amalgam fillings compromise the tooth structure.
- Minimally-Invasive: Tooth-colored fillings require less removal of natural tooth structure when compared to amalgam fillings.
- Comfortable: Patients who receive tooth-colored fillings typically experience less post-treatment discomfort than those who receive amalgam fillings.
- Safe: For the past several years, controversy has emerged regarding the mercury content in amalgam fillings. While the FDA states that amalgam fillings are safe, many patients still choose to have their old amalgam fillings replaced with composites. Tooth-colored fillings are safe, effective, and biocompatible.
Receiving a Tooth-Colored Filling
When you receive a tooth-colored filling at Walnut Pond, all damaged or decayed portions of the tooth will be removed, and any rough edges will be smoothed out. Once the tooth has been prepped, the dentist will apply a slightly acidic solution called dental etch. This will roughen the tooth surface so the filling can bond properly. The etch will be left on the tooth for a few seconds, and then your tooth will be thoroughly rinsed and dried. Carefully, the composite resin material will be applied to fill in the voids left behind by the cavity. After strategically shaping and molding the composite, it will be hardened – or cured – with a special dental light. Once the filling has been cured, your doctor will check the way your bite fits together, and make any final adjustments.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of tooth decay, a dental filling may be necessary to restore your oral health and prevent the cavity from worsening. To schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, call our office at (908) 200-7007 or contact us online.