Tooth-Colored Fillings in Durham, NC

woman smiling with tooth colored fillings at dentist in durham ncEven with proper brushing and flossing and a good diet, people can still get cavities—but that doesn't mean other people should know about it. 

The best part of modern dentistry is that Durham patients can get dental work done without any of it being visible. In the past, orthodontic work was embarrassingly public, but these days you can use invisible braces to straighten your teeth or get tooth-colored fillings to restore a tooth—all without being visible. Current dentistry focuses on both the function and aesthetics of dental work, which means that while the impact of the procedures is excellent, no one but you will ever know you've had work done.

A restoration, better known as a filling, is when diseased or damaged tooth structure is removed and replaced with a synthetic material. Many materials have been used over the years to fill teeth. Amalgams, or silver fillings, were once the material of choice, but as advancements have been made in technology, white or tooth-colored composite resin materials have become more common.

If you are in Durham, NC, and need to get a restoration done, why not ask for tooth-colored fillings? The work is durable, efficient, and absolutely natural-looking. You can even ask about dental bonding, which uses tooth-colored composite resin to fill in cracks, gaps, or other tooth imperfections in just one dental visit. Keeping all parts of your teeth white may not seem like a big deal to you, but over time silver fillings can turn dark and are highly visible when you speak. Requesting a white filling can really make your smile look more pleasant, which is why we are happy to offer it.

What Is a Tooth-Colored Filling?

There are plenty of reasons to thank our lucky stars regarding the timing of our arrival. Not only do we benefit from air conditioning and cell phone technology, but we can also enjoy advancements in dental technology that keep our mouths healthy and attractive.

Tooth-colored fillings, also known as white fillings, are a big hit with our Durham patients. In the past, getting a cavity filled required darkly colored metal fillings that were noticeable when you opened your mouth wide enough to laugh or yawn. While not the end of the world, they certainly were not attractive, and you pretty much told the whole world how many cavities you had. These days, tooth-colored composite fillings blend in with your tooth to look like natural enamel. This makes them perfect for any work done near the front, highly visible portion of your smile.

A tooth-colored filling can be done in one visit to The Smile Shop; this includes prepping and the actual restoration. One main benefit to white fillings is that the composite material is more forgiving, meaning that Drs. Kate Dolin and Adam Spriggs can take less of the healthy part of the tooth to bond the filling, unlike with traditional metal fillings. While the process for a tooth-colored composite filling might take slightly longer than more conventional forms, it is entirely worth it.

During the procedure, the tooth decay is completely removed, then an adhesive is applied to your tooth. Once the adhesive dries, Dr. Dolin or Dr. Spriggs will apply a few thin layers of the white composite resin. When your Durham dentist is satisfied with the filling, they will proceed to "cure" it, or harden it. This process takes under a minute using a special UV light.

Tooth-colored fillings are not recommended to fill cavities that are too large and require stability and protection. In these cases, your Durham dentist may recommend a dental crown to cover and protect the tooth. A new white filling should not impact your tooth sensitivity, if you start to experience prolonged sensitivity, contact The Smile Shop.

Your dentist may recommend inlays and onlays as a tooth restoration for teeth that are severely worn or damaged. These are most often used on back teeth that are not visible. Tooth-colored fillings keep your smile looking beautiful and healthy, so it's no wonder patients frequently request them. You can even get your old metal fillings replaced!

Like with any filling, make sure your tooth-colored fillings do not pull back from the tooth, which could allow bacteria to get in and cause decay. Schedule regular dental exams with your Durham dentists to ensure that you aren't suffering from tooth decay or cavities.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings in Durham, NC

The most apparent benefit of composite resins over the traditional silver amalgam restorations is that they are much more attractive. Composite resins come in a multitude of shades and hues and can be made to match nearly any tooth.

Bonding to tooth structure is also an advantage of composite resins. Amalgams require undercuts to be made, so the filling is mechanically locked into the tooth. In contrast, composite resins are bonded directly to the tooth structure and eliminate the need for a mechanical lock. This means that less natural tooth structure needs to be removed, thus allowing us to make our fillings as small and as conservative as possible.

Another advantage is versatility; since composites bond to the tooth structure, they can be used to repair broken or chipped teeth in the front of the mouth. These restorations will blend seamlessly into the natural tooth structure for a natural look and finish!

Ask us about tooth-colored fillings at The Smile Shop; our dentists are more than willing to sit and go over everything.

Why Would a Tooth Need a Filling?friends smiling with tooth colored fillings at the dentist in durham nc

There are many cases where a tooth-colored filling would be used:

  • Remove tooth decay
  • Repair a chipped or broken tooth
  • Close spaces between teeth
  • Repair discolored teeth
  • Restore a tooth following root canal therapy
  • Placing a dental filling

Fillings are often completed in just one dental appointment. Whether the filling is to remove the decayed tooth structure or to repair a chip, the process is very similar. First, we remove all decay, clean the tooth, and prepare it for the placement of the restoration. A bonding agent is applied that allows the restoration to adhere to the tooth seamlessly. The soft composite resin restorative material is placed, shaped, and finally cured to its final hardness. Our doctor then evaluates the tooth and makes any necessary adjustments to ensure your new restoration looks and functions naturally.

Come in today to get your teeth cleaned and inspected. If we find any cavities, we can use tooth-colored composite filling to repair them in Durham discreetly.

Caring for Your New Tooth-Colored Filling in the 27703 Area 

The at-home oral care for composite fillings is no different than the care for a natural tooth. Since the tooth-colored composite filling is shaped to mimic your tooth and smile, flossing and brushing will be the same. The integrity of each filling will be evaluated at your checkups every six months with clinical evaluation and annual x-rays you have here at The Smile Shop.

If you think you need a tooth filled or would like to talk about the benefits of esthetic composite bonding, contact The Smile Shop and schedule a dental visit. Our team is available to assist you and get you the treatment you need.