Tooth-Colored Fillings: A Convenient, Durable Restorative Dentistry Option
Left untreated, a cavity will only get worse, eventually affecting the entire structure of your tooth. In some cases, the bacteria could spread to your other teeth, nearby gum tissue, and even your jawbone. Fillings are the most common restorative dentistry treatment for small to moderately sized cavities. At Southern Dental Implant Center, we offer tooth-colored fillings, rather than traditional metal restorations. Composite and porcelain fillings offer important benefits, including durability and a lifelike appearance. Our Memphis dentists will guide you in the best ways to care for your fillings and maintain your beautiful smile.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Fillings are typically the easiest and most conservative way to restore a decayed tooth. When placing a filling, Dr. Collier or Dr. Bland will clean out your tooth to prevent further decay. After lightly etching the inside of your tooth to create a stronger bonding surface, he will place the filling material. Composite and porcelain fillings are available in many lifelike shades, and your dentist will select the one that most closely matches your smile. Once in place, the filling will strengthen your tooth and restore your oral function.
Proper Care Can Extend the Lifespan of Your Fillings
On average, porcelain and composite fillings will last five to 10 years. To ensure long-lasting restorations, it is important to care for your teeth properly. Luckily, tooth-colored fillings require little more than routine dental care. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once to prevent a build up of food and bacteria. It is also important to use anti-bacterial mouthwash. However, you should not use rinses that contain alcohol, as this can cause the composite to soften over time. You should also avoid undue stress on your teeth. Using your teeth to open packages, biting your nails, chewing ice, and similar activities can weaken your fillings. If you suffer from bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, you should seek treatment, as this condition can also damage your restorations. Finally, you should make routine visits to your dentist. Regular cleanings can keep further decay at bay. Your dentist will also make sure that your fillings are still structurally sound, and he can recommend replacement, if needed.
What Are the Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings do not last as long as other types of restorations. For example, silver amalgam fillings typically last 10 to 15 years. However, composite and porcelain fillings offer a number of other advantages, both for your health and your appearance. First, tooth-colored fillings will blend with your smile. Unlike metal fillings, which may eventually start to show through your teeth, composite and porcelain will never alter the shade of your grin. Additionally, these advanced materials will bond with your teeth more strongly than metal. Tooth-colored fillings also require less preparation than metal restorations. Your dentist will need to remove less of your natural tooth material when placing the filling. Finally, porcelain and composite are completely mercury free. In comparison, silver amalgam can contain up to 50 percent mercury. This toxic metal has been linked to a wide range of serious health concerns. For all of these reasons, we have eliminated metal fillings from our practice.
Contact Southern Dental Implant Center
To find out more about tooth-colored fillings and how to maintain your restorations, schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier or Dr. Bland.