Tooth-Colored Fillings near Aurora, Parker, and Centennial
Tooth decay is a common issue dentists treat every day. Even the most meticulous brusher and flosser can be prone to developing cavities. In fact, most adults have at least one filling.
The old silver metal fillings—called amalgams—dentists used to use worked well but were not very attractive. The good news is that now they are a thing of the past. These unattractive dark-colored fillings have been replaced with tooth-colored fillings. Unlike silver amalgams, which were very noticeable on a white tooth, tooth-colored fillings are virtually undetectable.
Tooth-colored fillings, also called composite fillings, can match the color of your tooth. In addition to their physical appeal, they also offer durability and resistance to fracture.
Give Dr. John Chen of Uptown Comprehensive Dentistry and Prosthodontics a call to learn more about tooth-colored fillings!
- What Is Tooth Decay?
- What Is the Filling Process?
- How Can I Avoid Cavities?
- The Benefits of Composite Fillings
- Caring for Your New Fillings
- Dental Bonding Can Enhance Your Smile
- Are You Interested in Dental Fillings?
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay typically occurs in an acidic environment that develops because of the types of foods you eat, particularly sweets. If you don't brush and floss regularly, this acid can start to erode your enamel.
At Uptown Comprehensive Dentistry and Prosthodontics, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with water after eating a sugary snack if you can’t brush or floss it right away. Once the harmful bacteria get past the enamel layer of the tooth, they can start to break down the inner part of your tooth. Dr. Chen can identify any signs of tooth decay during your dental check-up by using digital x-rays and pictures.
It’s always easy to treat and heal a dental issue while it’s still small and before it has caused damage. If we don't treat tooth decay, you may ultimately need a dental crown, root canal, or even tooth extraction. Root canals are a dental procedure that allows us to remove any infected parts of the inner tooth (the pulp and root) before protecting it with a dental crown. Dental crowns are a dental prosthetic that acts like a helmet and covers the entire surface of your tooth.
Dr. Chen will always do everything in his power to save your tooth, but some circumstances require an extraction to preserve your dental health. Your restoration dentist in Aurora can recommend tooth replacement options to restore your smile and even replace your tooth root.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, you may have dental decay that requires immediate treatment. We can help you avoid a dental emergency by seeing you for dental check-ups and exams, and recommending fluoride toothpaste to use at home. During these appointments, we will also be happy to answer your questions and give you tips for more thorough oral hygiene to protect your smile at home.
What Is the Filling Process?
Even with proper oral health at home, you may still get a cavity that needs a filling. Some areas may be hard for you to reach, or you may have a misaligned bite that can make you susceptible to cavities.
Regardless of the reason, Dr. Chen can remove any decay or infection and use tooth-colored filling to fill any cavities. At our Aurora dental office, our dentist will skillfully and gently remove the decay from your tooth and make sure that it is sterilized and sealed to prevent further decay. Dr. Chen places the tooth-colored composite resin in layers over the cavity and hardens it with a curing light. Your composite dental filling prevents particles or bacteria from entering your tooth.
The best way to make sure you do not have any tooth decay is by coming to see Dr. John Chen so that we can always examine your smile.
How Can I Avoid Cavities?
The best way to enjoy your smile is by maintaining an excellent home health routine that keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is vital in preventing decay and infection. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating sugary or acidic foods, we advise that you brush and floss more often.
Regular dental visits to your Aurora dentist along with exams, allow us to monitor your health and note any abnormalities. If you suffer from bruxism (grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep), we can talk about a custom-fitted nightguard that prevents your teeth from grinding and weakening your enamel.
The Benefits of Composite Fillings
Unlike amalgam fillings, which were made of mercury and metal, composite fillings are made of a mixture of glass, plastic, and quartz particles. Dr. Chen will blend the composite material, so it matches the color of the tooth we're restoring, making it virtually invisible. Now you can laugh and speak with animation because even with your mouth open wide, no one will see your fillings.
Another advantage of the composite material is its versatility. Decay in the front of your mouth can be taken care of and made to blend in seamlessly. We can fix chips, cracks, and other small imperfections as well. One of the issues with amalgam fillings is their tendency to expand and contract with heat and cold. Composite fillings do not have the same propensity. What this means for you is that your tooth-colored filling is resistant to fracture.
Tooth-colored fillings are a more conservative treatment because not as much of the tooth structure needs to be removed before we place the filling. Dr. Chen applies the composite material to the tooth in layers, which makes it a highly durable restoration.
Caring for Your New Fillings
You don't have to do anything special to take care of your tooth-colored filling. Brush twice a day and floss at least once. Stay current with checkups and cleanings twice a year.
Sometimes patients experience tooth sensitivity after the composite filling procedure. This is not uncommon and, in almost all cases, resolves on its own after a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can also try one of the desensitizing toothpastes on the market, available at most drug stores. If you are still feeling the sensitivity after a couple of weeks, be sure to give us a call.
Dental Bonding Can Enhance Your Smile
Dental bonding is a very popular, non-invasive cosmetic dental treatment that many of our Aurora patients love to fix minor smile issues like cracks, chips, gaps, misshapen teeth, and severe discoloration. You can get this dental procedure in just one dental visit after an oral health exam to ensure that dental bonding is an excellent treatment for you. As with any dental procedures, Dr. Chen first checks to ensure there is no existing infection or decay that he needs to treat first.
During the procedure, Dr. Chen matches the tooth-colored filling to your smile to make sure it blends in naturally—no one will know that you've had dental work done. Once we have reshaped the tooth and concealed the smile flaws, Dr. Chen will polish the tooth.
Are You Interested in Dental Fillings?
If you need a cavity filled or if you would like to talk about replacing your metal amalgam fillings, contact Uptown Comprehensive Dentistry and Prosthodontics. We proudly serve patients in Aurora, Parker, and Centennial. We look forward to seeing you!