Got a filling recently and realized you couldn’t even notice a difference? Well, that is called a tooth-coloured filling or a composite resin filling. This filling is made from a strong composite resin that can be easily matched to the natural colour of your tooth, making it nearly impossible for you or anyone else to visibly notice a change in the colour of the tooth. Furthermore, this resin has properties that align with the properties of the natural tooth, whether that be resistance or durability. They are generally the more common types of restorations, as the average person usually needs a small or a moderate level type of filling.
Travelling away from amalgam fillings which are either the traditional gold or silver ones, tooth-coloured fillings bond to the tooth, supporting its overall structure and preventing any sort of pressure that can lead to damage. Amalgam fillings on the other hand require the tooth to be shaped to the filling stays in position. This however affects the strength of the tooth as healthy materials is removed through the shaping process. Apart from having this benefit over amalgam fillings, they have a better visual appeal of a completely white smile which is favoured in today’s society, they can be completed in a single visit, they completely harden in a few days in comparison to other materials that take longer, they can be used on any tooth, they can be repaired if damaged and they prevent filling leaks. As a result, tooth-coloured fillings have become the favoured choice today for restorations. Despite these benefits, in comparison to amalgam fillings, it does take longer to complete a tooth-coloured filling than an amalgam filling. This is because a tooth-coloured filling requires the tooth to be kept dry and clean while the restoration is taking place. As well, lengthy exposure to darker liquids like coffee for example can stain them and exposure to liquids with a higher alcohol content can degrade them, which doesn’t occur when you have a gold or silver filling of course. Depending on what you prefer, with both types of fillings you’ll still be able to achieve a healthy-looking smile.
As with every dental procedure, prices vary depending on the treatment, but if one were to compare, white fillings generally are more expensive than amalgam fillings. However, many dental insurance plans cover the price of white fillings up to that of amalgam fillings. One can simply call their dental insurance provider to see just how much exactly can be covered.
Historically, tooth-colored fillings were first introduced to the world in the mid 1960s. Since then, there have been various significant improvements to how these fillings became what they are today. This ultimately led to the material being used today, the composite resin.
Bonding has evolved as a very popular cosmetic procedure that changes the smile drastically in a single visit. The advantage of bonding is that it is affordable and simple. Bonding can be done as an alternative to veneers and is used to mask the appearance due to misaligned tooth, close gaps in between the teeth. A chipped or discolored or misshapen tooth can also be modified to a beautiful tooth by careful bonding. You can even see a simulation before you actually do the procedure.
Tooth requires minimal preparation when doing bonding. The appointment is short and simple, results are cost effective and excellent.
The tooth colored fillings are bonded to the teeth. Once the dentist removes the decay and the tooth is cleaned thoroughly, and a weak acid is applied to the area. The weak acid opens up the pores in the enamel, in which the bonding agent is then flowed into to help prepare for the tooth colored filling being placed into the tooth shortly after. After shaping of the tooth colored filling has occurred, it is settled. Once the dentist makes sure the filling has hardened completely, the bite is checked to make sure the teeth align to prevent further issues in the future and if flossing can happen easily to ensure proper hygiene of the tooth.
When it comes to understanding what filling is best-suited for you, asking your dentist is key. The different properties of different types of dental fillings may be suited for different situations with different patients. Some important conditions that a dentist keeps in mind when explaining which type of filling may be best for you include the current condition of your teeth, the size of the area where the cavity lies, where the affected tooth is located in the mouth and the forces being subjected on the tooth during daily routine such as chewing or grinding. Ultimately though, the best kind of filling is no filling. You can significantly decrease the number of cavities in your mouth and the number of visits to the dentist (with the exception of checkups) by simply brushing your teeth after meals with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and seeing your family dentist regularly.