Cosmetic fillings are a tooth-colored alternative to traditional amalgam fillings and are used to replace areas of decay in a tooth. They are less noticeable than amalgam fillings and improve the appearance of your smile.
Why do I need a filling?
A cavity is a tooth structure that has been weakened by decay. When we remove this decay, we replace the removed structure with a filling to protect and retain the structure of the tooth. It is called a filling because it fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed.
What are cosmetic or tooth-colored fillings?
Traditionally, dentists have used metal “amalgam” fillings. Cosmetic fillings, also known as composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings, are a tooth-colored alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. They are made of composite plastic resin, and they look just like natural teeth.
What are the disadvantages of amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings are much darker than natural tooth structure, so they stand out in sharp contrast with the color of your teeth. This is sometimes called the “metal-mouth” look. Amalgams can corrode and leak over time, potentially staining teeth. Additionally, they are stronger than tooth enamel and can cause cracks in teeth.
What are the advantages of cosmetic fillings?
The most obvious advantage of cosmetic fillings is that they are nearly invisible in your mouth. They won’t stand out as dark spots in that beautiful smile you’ve been working hard to get. Cosmetic fillings bond very tightly to your existing teeth and work extremely well for small cavities. There is obviously no danger of metal-sensitivity.
Am I a good candidate for cosmetic fillings?
Anyone who has a filling in their mouth or needs a cavity filled should certainly ask about cosmetic fillings. They are strong and durable and look almost invisible. If you want the very best for your smile, then you want to use materials that appear very natural and tooth-like. That is exactly what cosmetic fillings are designed for.
Can I have my old amalgam fillings replaced with cosmetic fillings?
It’s very likely that you can, since removing the old amalgam filling is usually a quick and easy procedure. Our team at Westmoreland Family Dentistry will have to examine the tooth structure under and around the old filling to see if more extensive dental work is necessary. If not, we can give you a new cosmetic filling in the same appointment.
What can I expect from the cosmetic filling procedure?
Once the cavity has been treated, or the old amalgam filling has been removed, the process is very similar to the dental bonding procedure. We will prepare the tooth so that it is ready to bond tightly with the new filling. The filling is made of composite, a plastic resin that is very flexible and can be molded like putty. We will apply the resin in layers, hardening each layer as we go with a high-intensity light. This is a one-appointment procedure that gives beautiful, long-lasting results.