White Fillings Can Enhance Your Smile
When teeth develop a cavity, you need to have the decay removed and then filled. You now have several choices as to the color and type of cavity filling that you can get. While you can still get the silver amalgam fillings, a composite filling may be more desirable.
Having a beautiful set of white teeth makes a great impression. It makes you stand out. This is made even better with teeth whitening. The problem with getting teeth whitening if you have silver amalgam fillings is that it will make the fillings stand out even more.
A solution that will keep your teeth looking great is tooth-colored composite resin fillings. This type of filling is now more popular than the silver colored ones. This is the same material that is used to repair a chipped tooth. It is white instead of being metallic silver. This white filling is made of a mixture of acrylic resin and powdered glass.
Advantages of Composite Resin
The advantage of a composite filling is that it is nearly invisible. The dentist is careful to match the color of the filling to your tooth. If you want white teeth, this is what you need. An amalgam filling, if it is large, can change the color of the tooth on the outside, making it look gray.
Composite resin fillings also have the advantage of strengthening the tooth. It will help prevent tooth breakage. An amalgam filling cannot do this because the metal does not bond with the tooth.
Because it bonds with the tooth and strengthens it, it means that less of the tooth needs to be removed for the filling. This means less drilling.
The material in this type of filling will also help to insulate the tooth from changes in temperature. It will help to prevent the changes from reaching the nerve.
The Cost of a White Tooth Filling
If you want white fillings for your teeth, you can expect to pay a little more for it. This is because of how the material must be applied. Instead of applying all the material at once, a filling made of composite resin must be applied in layers. After being applied and shaped, each layer is hardened with a special light. This means that it takes longer to complete the filling.
Dental insurance companies may cover the cost of a composite filling. It is, however, only apt to pay as much as the cost of a silver filling. This means that you will be responsible to pay the difference.
The Downside of Tooth-Colored Fillings
There is one downside to a filling that is tooth-colored. While it will match your teeth, it is not as durable as other types of fillings. You can expect it to last from five to seven years. It will last longer in a small to mid-size tooth. It is less durable in large teeth or where there is more bite pressure.
A second disadvantage is that it will stain easier than some other materials. Once it is stained, teeth whitening will have little effect on it. This means you need to avoid dark-colored foods and drinks, such as tea and coffee, grape juice, red wine, and more. Smoking will also stain your teeth and fillings. Once stained, the only way to whiten them is to replace them.
If a filling falls out, the tooth may quickly have enough damage to it that another filling is not possible. The top of the tooth may need to be replaced with a crown. Generally, a dentist will recommend a filling if it is less than 50 percent of the tooth. Getting a cavity treated early can help save a tooth – and it will be less expensive, too.
After the Filling
Once you get composite fillings, it is recommended that you wait until the anesthesia wears off before eating anything. A child may accidentally chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue if they eat before it wears off. Be careful to avoid chewing hard foods with the restored tooth because it is not as durable as some filling types. Your tooth with the filling may be a little sensitive to hot and cold for a couple of weeks.
How to Prevent Cavities
Taking care of your teeth is a lot cheaper than having to get a dental filling – no matter what kind. You will be able to reduce your need for fillings if you take some steps to care for your teeth. This involves:
- Brushing your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing once a day
- Eating a healthy diet
- Reducing your intake of sugar
- Making regular visits to the dentist.
If you need fillings for your teeth, it may be time for you to consider getting composite resin fillings. These white fillings will enable your teeth to look white and healthy and will improve your smile. Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, MS, MBA, FDSRCS, a Board Certified Periodontist, provides composite fillings and teeth whitening in his Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mockingbird/SMU, and Grapevine, TX offices. His office accepts most dental health insurance plans. For a consultation or information about periodontal treatment, you can contact his office today