Tooth-Colored (White) Fillings
Tooth-colored or white fillings offer patients several advantages when compared to metal or amalgam fillings. One advantage is that they less likely to become defective, while metal fillings expand and contract with hot and cold temperatures from food or drinks and can easily crack over time. White fillings tend to be sturdier and last longer. Another benefit is less exposure to mercury in the body. Mercury is component of metal fillings and mercury can be potentially dangerous. Patients also enjoy the fact that tooth-colored fillings look natural and undetectable, no more mouthful of metal.
White fillings are composed of a synthetic mixture filled with microscopic glass beads (silicon dioxide), which create a composite resin. Tooth-colored composites in dentistry date back to the 1960s and with the progression of dental technology, composites have been dramatically enhanced and can be successfully placed to function in the back teeth. White fillings are used not only in tooth restoration for decayed teeth, but also for aesthetic cosmetic improvement. Composites are used to accentuate your smile by changing tooth color or re-shaping disfigured teeth.
Composites offer an advantage over porcelain fillings because they can be placed in a single visit. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Schultz, will make recommendations on filling type based on his knowledge of these materials and examination of your teeth.
Following preparation of the tooth to be filled, Dr. Schultz applies the composite in layers and uses a special light to harden each layer. He will then shape the composite to fit the tooth, polishing the filling to prevent staining and early wear. Composite resin is also used to bond or cement veneers and porcelain inlays and onlays (porcelain fillings) and in other aesthetic restorations.