Natural-Looking Tooth Restoration
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic health conditions. When tooth decay is unavoidable, Dr. Park, a Rochester, NY, dentist, can provide an affordable, natural-looking, and safe solution with composite dental fillings. Not only are our fillings some of the most aesthetically natural looking restorations available today, they are also strong and can last a lifetime.
Composite Dental Fillings – The Best Solution
At Irondequoit Family Dentistry, we use the highest quality dental materials, latest technology, and advanced techniques to restore teeth that have decayed, chipped, or are cracked. We use fillings that match the color of your teeth to create stunning results and make any restoration procedures virtually undetectable.
How to Tell if You Need a Filling
There are several ways that indicate that you might need a filling due to decay or fracture if you have no visible signs (e.g. a chip or broken tooth). When you come in to Irondequoit Family Dentistry for an evaluation, Dr. Park will recommend the appropriate dental treatment for your situation. We typically recommend fillings as the best solution for restoring teeth that have severe tooth decay, cracks, chips and cavities.
Physical sensations include:
- Aching teeth
- Throbbing or sharp tooth pain
- Sensitivity when eating or brushing
- Sensitivity to temperatures
Visible signs include:
- Dark spots
- A hole in your tooth you can see or feel
- A rough, broken, or chipped tooth
- A previous filling that has fallen out
What are composite resin fillings and restorations?
Composite resin fillings are the most common alternative to dental amalgam. Composite resin fillings are white or ‘tooth color’ and are made of an acrylic resin that has been reinforced with powdered glass filler. Composite resin is often placed in layers to build up the final restoration, then cured with an ultra-violet light. This light energy speeds up a chemical reaction of the components causing the soft material to harden and bond to the tooth. The color (shade) of composite resins can be customized to closely match surrounding teeth. This composite resin contains no metal and can be shaped to resemble a real tooth. It is usually hard to tell that a tooth has even been filled!
Composite resin fillings have several advantages. The “white” color is preferred by many patients due to its ability to blend in with surrounding teeth. It is also possible to make a more conservative preparations when using composite material, thus enabling the dentist to preserve more natural tooth structure.
Benefits of Composite Resin Restorations
- Preferred white/natural-looking color
- Better for smaller fillings
- Preservation of more tooth structure
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, it can help prevent tooth decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, another advantage that reinforces gum health.
Dental Fillings—The Process
The procedure for placing a composite resin dental filling is a routine treatment that we do every day at Irondequoit Family Dentistry. Here’s how it works:
- Dr. Park isolates the tooth from saliva to keep it dry.
- Any dental decay is removed.
- An etchant and a bonding agent are applied, followed by the composite resin.
- A special light is used to harden each layer of composite resin material.
- After the tooth is filled, the composite resin is shaped to resemble a real tooth.
- Finally, the restoration is smoothed and polished to accommodate your bite.
The Difference Between a Filling and an Inlay/Onlay
A filling does what it says it does—it is filling in a cavity, a hole that has been created by decay or trauma, essentially restoring normal tooth anatomy. When we create a filling from composite resin, we shade the white material so that it blends naturally with your surrounding tooth structure. The result is a restoration that is practically invisible.
Inlays and onlays are used when the damage or decay to a tooth requires more than a filling—but less than a crown. In other words, if your tooth does not have enough tooth structure for a filling but it is not so severely damaged that it warrants a crown, you may be an excellent candidate for an inlay or onlay.
An inlay is made of porcelain and crafted at a dental lab by an expert ceramist and cemented into or onto the center of the tooth, inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay covers the top chewing surface of the tooth. We use porcelain because it very closely mimics enamel and offers decades of strength and security.
The Problem with Metal/Amalgam Fillings
In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing, composite fillings are completely safe and non-toxic. However, some believe that none of these advantages ring true for metal fillings. Some research suggests that amalgam fillings—made with mercury, silver, tin, copper and other metals—may lead to health problems.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.
We are excited to be able to restore decayed teeth to their optimal appearance and function with fillings, inlays, and onlays. At Irondequoit Family Dentistry, we use dental fillings to help adult and pediatric patients preserve their healthy, beautiful teeth and avoid additional damage.
The result of high-quality composite fillings is a beautiful, healthy smile. For more information about our dental fillings, call our office today! Irondequoit Family Dentistry Phone Number (585) 266-4860