If you’ve never had a dental filling before, you should know that they are incredibly effective at saving teeth and preventing them from breaking down further. However, if you have metal dental fillings already and it’s been a long time since you’ve had a new one, you’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t have to use metal any longer just to restore teeth. At Fromuth & Langlois Dental of Manchester, we can restore your teeth and ensure long-term protection with tooth-colored fillings! If you have old fillings to replace or tooth decay to resolve, give our office a call today!
Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay. In the past, dental fillings have been made from silver amalgam, which is usually a combination of different materials. This includes nickel, mercury and tin. While silver fillings were used due to their durability and longevity, they weren’t completely free of caveats. For example, they tend to fracture teeth further if left in for too long and they would often cause sensitivity when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
In contrast, tooth-colored fillings use composite resin, which is made from a combination of plastic and glass materials, rather than metal. Since these materials are much more malleable, we don’t need to remove tooth enamel just to have them placed. Additionally, we can easily color-match them so they blend in with your teeth and they won’t cause teeth sensitivity when exposed to extreme temperatures.
The fact of the matter is, unlike other parts of the body, tooth enamel does not heal on its own. They actually don’t regenerate new enamel at all, which means they will only break down further if you need restorative dentistry performed and don’t get it done. As your tooth continues to break down, the likelihood that you’ll need a dental crown placed only goes up, and since it’s a more complex restoration, it will cost more and require removal of existing enamel. Think of dental fillings as a preventive measure.
After performing an exam and detailed cleaning of your tooth, we’ll start by mixing the composite resin so that it matches your existing enamel exactly. Then, we’ll place a small amount of material designed to make your tooth more porous. This allows the resin to bond more effectively to your tooth. After filling the cavity, shaping it inside your tooth, then cutting away any residual material, we’ll harden it instantly using a special curing light. In most cases, dental fillings only take a single appointment to complete. From there, you just need to brush and floss normally and stay committed to routine dental exams and cleanings every six months.