By matching the filling color to your tooth, Florence dentist, Dr. Ashley Covington at Florence Family Dentistry can provide you with fillings that not only treat your cavity, but work to enhance the appearance of your treated tooth. Tooth-colored fillings can be used to treat new cavities or to replace older ones – whether because of the age, related wear and tear, or because you desire a more natural look, tooth colored fillings are more pleasing than the shiny metal or worn fillings that detract from your smile.
What are Tooth Colored Restorations?
Tooth colored restorations or fillings are also referred to as composites, because they are composed of a complex molecular structure of a resin matrix and fillers. Composites or resins were introduced in the 1960’s, and have undergone continual improvements in durability, color stability, material handling qualities, and esthetic properties. Tooth colored restorations are actually bonded to remaining tooth structure compared to silver/amalgam restorations, which are “locked” into tooth structure. This property of resin restorations makes them a very conservative approach to tooth restoration after caries removal.
What should I expect tooth colored restoration to look like?
Tooth colored filling material comes in a great number of colors (shades), and are matched to your individual tooth color. The materials used for front teeth have a high shine; whereas, the materials for back teeth are designed for strength — both look great! It’s nice that if you have a filling it can be virtually undetectable.
How Long Do They Last?
Tooth colored fillings now are harder and more comparable to silver/amalgam restorations. A small filling could conceivably last a lifetime, and larger fillings can be expected to last many years. The factors that determine the lifespan of a particular filling include: the tooth (molars take more force than bicuspids), the size of the filling relative to the tooth (smaller fillings will usually be more durable than larger fillings), and how teeth are cleaned and maintained daily.
How Should They Feel?
A new filling should feel natural, like your own teeth. After the anesthesia has worn away and you can feel your teeth and bite again, you should not notice anything particularly different. It should be smooth and comfortable. There is a period that you might feel some sensitivity to temperature after the restoration is placed. It is temporarily as with any other restorations when they are placed on teeth. You can eat on tooth colored fillings right away (as soon as anesthesia is gone) compared to silver/ amalgam fillings, which there is a waiting period.